The FBI began to treat animal abuse as a crime. FBI collects data on crimes and cruelty to animals through their system “NIBRS”. Through this system, they receive the data and the various incidents and crimes throughout the United States.
This way, the FBI classifies cruelty to animals as the most serious crime, in range with murder, arson, and attacks.
Law enforcement agencies will have sub-groups that will classify animal abuse. This includes neglect, deliberate abuse and torture, organized abuse (animal fights) and also sexual abuse.
The FBI defines the cruelty to animals as “Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment.”
The new policy of the FBI came into force on January 1st last year. And was in the making for full four years.
“These are creatures that suffer and we know their capacity to suffer. In most societies, it’s recognized that creatures that are dependent on others, whether the elderly or children or animals, need to be protected.”- said Mary Lou Randour, which has convinced the FBI to launch this program.
There is a national consensus that animal abuse should be treated as a serious crime. Now, since animal cruelty is a part of the Class A felony it will be easier to get harsher sentences and to identify young offenders. This will allow the police and counselors to identify and work with children who show early signs of trouble. Due to the fact that statistics show that those who are capable of hurting animals are also capable of committing other crimes. So this program will deal with those hurting animals today and hopefully, they will prevent them from becoming serial killers tomorrow.
There is evidence that the abuse of animals has a connection with crimes against people. This also includes violent crimes and domestic violence.
“This is not about protecting people or animals, but about protection of the animals and people”- explained the lawyer.
What do you think about the new program? Should other governments around the world start using it?