Chapter One: Definitions of Animal Cruelty, Abuse, and Neglect

Chapter One: Definitions of Animal Cruelty, Abuse, and Neglect

Chapter One: Definitions of Animal Cruelty, Abuse, and Neglect Randy Lockwood and Phil Arkow Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved. Introduction Animal cruelty is difficult to define. Laws reflect cultural norms. Historically, concern regarding animal cruelty focused on the loss of the use of the animal(s) as property, or

on other harm to humans resulting from the animal cruelty. (e.g., St. Thomas Aquinas, Emmanuel Kant). Defining animal cruelty as an evil based on the harm to the animal itself is relatively recent. (e.g., Reverend Humphrey Primatt). Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved. Definitions of Terms Most state anti-cruelty statutes are composed

of six elements: The types of animals protected The types of acts prohibited or duties of care required The mental culpability required to meet a standard of liability The defenses to criminal liability Certain activities exempted from the law Penalties for each offense Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.

Definitions Dimensions affecting societal and legal response to cruel acts The intrinsic or extrinsic value of the animal victim The deviant nature of the act itself Public and professional recognition of the victims capacity for stress, pain, fear, or suffering The financial costs of enforcement Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.

Definitions Acts of animal cruelty may be individualized versus institutionalized. Most cases reported to humane law enforcement agencies are cases of neglect, rather than abuse. Definitions of animal cruelty vary between countries and even between time periods in one country. Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.

Perspectives on Definitions Scholars have been unsuccessful in coming up with a definition thus far. Felthous and Kellerts (1987) definition had inherent problems. Substantial cruelty to animals is a pattern of deliberately, repeatedly, and unnecessarily hurting vertebrate animals in a manner likely to cause serious injury. Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.

Perspectives on Definitions Ascione (1993) defined animal cruelty as socially unacceptable behavior that intentionally causes unnecessary pain, suffering, or distress to and/or death of an animal. Ascione and Shapiro (2009) defined animal abuse. They changed the term from cruelty to abuse. They added non-accidental to fit with the new veterinary forensics terminology (Non-Accidental Injury or NAI). They eliminated the word intentionally. Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press.

All rights reserved. Government Panels The Brambell Commission in UK (led by Prof. Brambell) investigated the welfare farmed animals. The Farm Animal Welfare Council codified the Five Freedoms:

Freedom from hunger and thirst Freedom from discomfort Freedom from pain, injury, and disease Freedom to express normal behavior Freedom from fear and distress Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved. Public Opinion Morgan (1983) described a continuum of

public attitudes toward animals. Radical attitudesAnimal Liberation and activist Animal Rights Centrist attitudesAnimal Welfare and Animal Control Conservative attitudesAnimal Use and Animal Exploitation Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved. Legislation and Law Enforcement Anti-cruelty statutes are most often found among offenses against public morals, order, and decency (with little focus on the victim). Animal welfare laws vary from state to state, and are ever-changing.

Copyright 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved. The full set of PowerPoint slides is available upon adoption. Email [email protected] for more information.

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