Stop Animal Abusers From Moving On To More Violent Crimes

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

The FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) must cover the entire nation to effectively track animal abuse!


Animal abuse is a prevalent issue in the United States with thousands of cases reported each year1. While neglect and abandonment is the most common form of abuse, there are documented cases of animals being shot, beaten, stabbed, and tortured.

Despite the best efforts of animal advocates, clamping down on abuse is a fiercely uphill battle. Until 2017, animal abuse wasn't even a category in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)2. Previously, it fell under the umbrella term: "All Other Offenses3," making it impossible to determine the full scale of animal abuse across those states that chose to participate with the NIBRS.

The FBI's inclusion of animal abuse as a separate category on the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) is a step in the right direction. There's still a problem, however. Participation in the NIBRS is not mandatory. Currently, only 30% of the country is served by the NIBRS4. This results in a piecemeal picture of who the nation's animal abusers are, what crimes they've committed, and where they live.

Projections on the full numbers from such a small sample of NIBRS-participating states are terrifying, especially when considering many animal abuse incidents go unreported5.

Tracking animal abusers is also critical to the safety of humans. Often, perpetrators of crimes targeting animals later turn their whims to people. According to data from the Chicago Police Department, of those arrested for animal crimes, 65% had been arrested for battery against another person6.

We have the technology in place, but only 30% of the nation is accounted for in the NIBRS, simply too little to be effective.

Join us in calling on the FBI to make reporting of abuse to the NIBRS mandatory, and to get 100% of the country reporting! Until we have complete information, countless animals remain at risk!

More on this issue:

  1. Statistics Brain Research Institute (28 April 2017), "Animal Abuse Statistics."
  2. National Council on Violence Against Animals, "NIBRS User Manual for Animal Control Officers and Humane Law Enforcement."
  3. Federal Bureau of Investigation (1 February 2016), "Tracking Animal Cruelty: FBI Collecting Data on Crimes Against Animals."
  4. NIRBS, Federal Bureau of Investigation (2012), "NIBRS Participation by State."
  5. The Humane Society of the United States (2021), "Animal Cruelty and Human Violence."
  6. Keri Burchfield (February 2016), "The Sociology of Animal Crime: An Examination of Incidents and Arrests in Chicago."
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The Petition:

To the Director of the FBI,

The FBI's inclusion of animal abuse as a separate crime in NIBRS reports is a great step forward. Animal abuse is often a precursor to violence against people, and by labeling animal abuse clearly could very well save lives.

But this is only a first step. Thirty percent of the nation accounted for in the NIBRS is still too little to be effective.

Tracking animal abusers is also critical to the safety of humans. Often, violent people being their crimes targeting animals and later turn their whims to people. Countless studies have linked the inclination for animal abuse with future violent crimes, which only reiterates the importance of clear, precise tracking for those who would harm animals.

I demand you expand the list to cover the entire United States, so the FBI can help protect and defend animals and humans across the country.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: