[A DOG’S LIFE] Animal Abuse Registries on the Rise

Reba Mug ShotAs of January 1, 2016, Tennessee is the first state to have an animal abuse registry. While some cities have their own registries—the first of these lists was created in Suffolk County, New York in October 2010—this is the first statewide registry.

Senator Jeff Yarbro is one of the bill’s sponsors.

“We proposed this law not just to take a stand against animal cruelty,” said Yarbro to the Huffington Post, “but to take concrete action to prevent abuse and deter those who repeatedly engage in the torture and killing of animals.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will collect the list. Perpetrators who have committed a crime against animals after January 1st will be listed and their information will stay on the site for two years.

Currently, no government sponsored national registry of animal abusers exists. Opponents of these lists believe that they exist only to publically shame and could possibly prompt people to take personal retaliation against perpetrators.

However, the FBI has recently announced that it will begin collecting data on animal cruelty through it’s National Incident-Based Reporting System, labeling these crimes as a Group A felony–equal to assault, homicide and arson.

The FBI defines animal cruelty as “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause”. The public can view the data that is currently being collected in 2017.

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