The FBI Now Considers Animal Abuse a Class A Felony

In a move seen as a big win for animal rights activists, the FBI has added animal cruelty to its list of Class A felonies, alongside homicide and arson.

Cases of animal cruelty fall into four categories — neglect; intentional abuse and torture; organized abuse, such as cock and dog fighting; and sexual abuse of animals — and the agency is now monitoring them as it does other serious crimes. Starting January 1, data is being entered into the National Incident-Based Reporting System or NIBRS, the public database the FBI uses to keep a record of national crimes.

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