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American States Are Creating Registers Of Animal Abusers

By James Dawson ( Ladbible.com )

US states and counties are increasingly taking action against people who abuse animals by listing their names on 'sex offender' style official registers.

The first state to introduce such a register was Tennessee in January 2016, following the lead of a small number of regions in New York state and one area in Illinois, reports the Independent.

Citizens in Tennessee can view the names, dates of birth, addresses and crime details of eight people convicted of cruelty to animals in the state.

The registry means there can be a more thorough vetting of prospective pet owners or pet-sitters, preventing domestic pets from being subjected to violent owners.
In September, Tampa joined the list of areas with animal abuser registers. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas and Washington have all now made similar proposals.

"This registry not only protects animals, but it can identify - and maybe even prevent - violence against humans, too," said Kevin Beckner, commissioner of Hillsborough County in Florida, when the city of Tampa passed the legislation.

Authorities keep details of registered sex offenders in the UK and employers in certain sectors are able to make a formal request to find out whether a potential employee has committed a child sex offence - however there is currently no such register for animal abusers.

A recent petition to introduce a similar initiative for people convicted of animal cruelty in the UK gathered a thousand signatures, however the general election meant it was closed early.

The website of the UK-based Campaign for an Animal Abuser Register states: "Current animal welfare law is a start, but there are serious loopholes."

"It's a surprise to many that at the moment there is no legal requirement to record an animal abuser's name and details on any register, or to make abusers report any change in their details or address. This means the police and prosecuting agencies can't keep track of offenders and prevent further cruelty to animals."

It also lists the names of convicted murderers who were also known to have tortured or killed animals - cruelty against animals has been identified by psychologists as a possible indicator of psychopathy.

"The double murderer Stephen Farrow (convicted last year) killed other people's pet animals as a child. The killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy, Raoul Moat, and the child murderers Ian Brady, Thomas Hamilton, Robert Thompson, and Ian Huntley all killed animals after torturing them," it says.
Source: The Independent

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