Friday, March 19, 2010

Animal abuse = warning sign

It's been argued before: people who abuse (non-human) animals may very well abuse human animals too. The New York Times reported today that "Growing evidence that people who abuse animals often go on to attack humans" has caused many states to increase the penalties for animal cruelty.

They are also developing better methods for tracking convicted offenders -- one example being the registries that have been proposed in California and Tennessee. (The arguments for such a registry appear in an earlier post, "Definitely not the honor roll," on Feb. 28).

"Animal hoarders" are being given special attention because they're prone to recidivism, and the cost of caring for animals who survive their abuse is prohibitive.

For whatever reason it's being done (just plain animal abuse ought to suffice!) states "have grown increasingly intolerant of animal abuse over the years." Two decades ago, the Times reports, "just six states had felony level animal cruelty laws. Now all but four do."

Among the four hold-out states is Idaho, where "farmers and ranchers are pushing a bill that would more clearly distinguish livestock from pets and would exempt livestock from the protections afforded pets."

There are animals and animals -- and it doesn't bode well for the livestock.

No comments: