Cruelty to animals

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Cruelty to animals refers to treatment which causes unacceptable suffering or harm to animals. The definition of "unacceptable suffering" varies from person to person; some consider only suffering inflicted for sadistic reasons to be cruelty to animals, whereas others extend the definition to include the suffering inflicted on animals for other reasons (such as producing fur or meat). Most people would say that cruelty to animals is at the least distasteful, and many people regard cruelty to animals as a major moral issue. many people feel individuals willing to inflict harm on 'helpless' animals such as pets makes them more prone to do so towards people; one of the common warning signs of certain violent crimes usually includes a history of torturing pets and small animals.

The animal welfare and animal rights movements are two different reactions to the issue of cruelty to animals.

The animal rights movement is distinct from the animal welfare movement, which believes that the use of animals for human ends is justified but is concerned with improving treatment of animals and seeks to minimise suffering. The animal rights movement, on the other hand, holds that we should end the suffering once and for all by ceasing to make use of animals.


Laws against animal cruelty

Most jurisdictions have enacted statutes which forbid cruelty to animals; see Cruelty to Animals Acts in the United States ( These statutes provide minimal requirements for care and treatment of animals, but do not require optimal treatment or mandate kindness or love. They require that animals be provided shelter, food, water and medical treatment and that animals not be tortured, or killed in an inhumane manner. Traditional or controversial practices such as treatment of rodeo animals or medical research are usually excepted from the operation of the law.

In a few jurisdictions, notably, Massachusetts and New York, agents of humane societies and associations may be appointed as special officers to enforce statutes outlawing animal cruelty, see the Massachusetts statute ( and the New York statute ( Brute Force: Animal Police and the Challenge of Cruelty by Arnold Arluke is an ethnographic study of these special humane law enforcement officers.

Most jurisdictions simply depend on law enforcement officers who may not be knowledgeable in the area or assign it a high priority. Spectacular stories about grave atrocities and animal hoarders are mainstays of local TV news reporting, but most offenses concern lack of adequate shelter or food and similar mundane deficiencies in animal care.

Relation to other incidents

The Japanese serial killers such as Tsutomu Miyazaki and Sakakibara were maltreating the animals.

Further reading

See also

External link



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