© M JENNY EDWARDS 2019
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Animal Sex Abuse
Animal Abuse Registries
Friday, May 17, 2019 10:18 AM
Several states have proposed or begun implementing animal abuser registries similar to sex offender registries. An AAR would list individuals convicted of certain types of animal cruelty - for example cruelty causing significant injury or death, or sexual abuse. Such registries would be valuable in keeping track of people who have been prohibited by law from having or being around animals, and assist animal shelters when placing animals for adoption. Although laws in all jurisdictions differ, the Animal Law Resource Center offers model language on its website.
But not everyone is in favor of AARs.
The ASPCA, for example, believe that because AARs would be of limited value and there are other approaches that could be taken, such as strengthening existing laws. The National Humane Education Association, on the other hand, makes the point that aggravated animal cruelty is a sign of psychological distress and that such individuals may be predisposed to commit acts of interpersonal violence.
As of this writing, only two states (Tennessee and New York) have implemented statewide registries. Legislation proposed in other jurisdictions, like Ohio have met with somewhat limited success.
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