January 13, 2016
The FBI now has animal cruelty on its radar. Starting this year, animal cruelty will be considered a “crime against society” in the eyes of the FBI, a Class A felony. The agency will begin collecting and tracking data on animal cruelty cases through its National Incident-Based Reporting System, or NIBRS, much the same way homicide and arson cases are tracked. AHS Chief Government Affairs and Community Engagement Officer Kathy Mock says bringing national attention to animal cruelty is a step in the right direction. She adds there is evidence that animal abuse is linked to crimes against people, therefore this new initiative aims not just to protect animals, but people as well.
Once established, the tracking database will allow local authorities to easily share information on alleged crimes and offenders. Meaning, if a person is involved in a cruelty investigation in Minnesota, local law enforcement will have better access to cruelty records that may exist in other states.
KSTP-5, the local ABC affiliate, recently interviewed AHS Humane Agent Keith Streff on what impact this move will have on humane investigations. You can watch his interview below: