Pet parents know that any form of animal abuse should be a crime, but now the FBI is getting onboard.
Beginning in 2016, the FBI will reclassify any type of animal abuse as a high-level, “Group A” felony in its system. This means that, as soon as these new changes are implemented, animal abuse will be a high-profile federal crime that is punishable to the full extent of the law.
2016's New Regulations: What Changed?
Prior to the 2016 changes, animal abuse was classified as a “Group B” felony. This placed it in the ranks of writing bad checks, trespassing on private property and committing minor crimes. As a “Group A” felony, however, animal abuse will be akin to more serious crimes in terms of punishment.
This new classification will streamline the process of tracking and logging animal abuse, which will in turn make it easier for law enforcement to punish offenders and protect animals. The new changes also offer four distinct classifications of animal abuse: sexual abuse, torture or deliberate abuse, gross neglect and organized abuse. These classifications will provide more detail on each abuse case and make it easier for the cases to proceed through the court systems. Additionally, the new changes will require all municipal police forces in the country to reform their animal programs to reflect the new federal law changes.
How the New Regulations Will Help Put an End to Animal Abuse
Before the 2016 regulations, animal abuse has always been filed in legal documents under an offense listed as “other.” This filing format made animal abuse cases difficult to locate, track and prosecute and often resulted in animal abuse offenders going unpunished for a very long time. The new changes make it easier for law enforcement to track animal abuse cases and, when you take into account the fact that people who abuse animals are more likely to commit violent crimes toward humans, it’s clear that these new changes will go a long way toward keeping the entire human and animal population a bit safer.
Although the program will take months to implement, it will also give law enforcement access to more accurate cruelty data, which will help police officers better locate and address abuse issues in various cities. No matter how you view it, it’s clear that the new FBI regulations are geared toward creating safer animal and human communities and ensuring healthy, happy lives for everyone involved.