FBI Now Tracking Crimes Against Animals

March 28, 2016 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

This year the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began collecting data on people who commit animal abuse. The department has also added an Animal Abuse category to its National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). This is a system where police detail crimes including the offenses, characteristics of the victims and offenders, people arrested in connection with the incident and more.


Animal cruelty is defined by the FBI 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.” Animal abuse is being classified as a “Group A” offense alongside crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, arson, and others. U.S. police departments are required to report animal abuse for input into the NIBRS. Animal abuse will be further grouped into categories such as: Simple/Gross Neglect, Intentional Abuse and Torture, Organized Abuse (such as dog and chicken fighting), and others.


This move is considered to be a significant step forward for animal welfare. The hope is that each state will follow Tennessee’s lead by developing online registries of convicted animal abusers. Adoption shelters and individuals can then check the sites prior to adopting out or selling pets.

FBI Track Crimes 2

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