The Enforcement of Animal Welfare Laws Has Gone Down

Anyone who is an animal lover hates to hear stories about the abuse, neglect or mistreatment of animals. Sadly, animal abuse is something that happens around the world to both domestic and wild animals. Pet owners and those passionate about animal rights put a lot of effort into eradicating animal cruelty in all circumstances.

When these terrible events do happen, there are officials that people can turn to so that an animal welfare law is enforced to improve the life of the animal. The United States Department for Agriculture (USDA) is the agency responsible for enforcing animal welfare laws amongst many other responsibilities relating to the care of animals. When it comes to dealing with complaints against domestic animals and enforcing the animal welfare laws, this is the responsibility of the department’s Animal Care Enforcement team.

The great news is that the number of complaints made and the number of times animal welfare laws are enforced is now decreasing. This is an indicator that less animal cruelty is taking place now compared to previous years. This news comes from a summary published in October 2018 by the United States Department for Agriculture’s Animal Care Enforcement.

In the summary, a direct comparison was made between the reports filed and the animal welfare laws enforced in 2016 and 2018. The figures for 2016 are 192 written warnings and23 official complaints filed that relate to violations of animal welfare law.

By 2018, a significant decrease was noted in the number of incidents. During the first nine months of 2018, there had only been 39 written warnings issued. The most notable figure from the study, though, is that only official complaint was filed. This complaint was subsequently settled.

These figures will delight animal law enforcement officials and animal lovers alike. It shows that animal cruelty is much less of an issue now than it was as recently as two years ago. The data could give hope that the figures could drop even further in 2019.

The comes from a reliable source as it was gathered as part of the inspections undertaken regularly at centers. The animal care division of the United States Department of Agriculture employs more than 100 inspectors. These inspectors conduct surprise inspections a minimum of every one to three years at licensed facilities across the United States. Not only does this help to collate information, but it also gives the inspectors the opportunity to regulate the licensed facilities.

Sadly, the drop in figures does not mean that animal cruelty no longer exists. It is simply a drop in reported cases. While this drop shows progress in relation to reducing the number of animal cruelty incidents, there are many cases that go unreported.

To put an end to animal cruelty in the United States, it is vital that people are vigilant. If they have any concerns, they should contact the United States Department for Agriculture who can inform their Animal Care Enforcement team who will make a decision about how to proceed with the information they receive.

Changes in attitudes towards animals can also help to make a change and this is something that both the authorities and many individuals continue to work towards in the hope of improving the lives of animals across the United States.

The first animal welfare laws in the United States were put in place in 1641 as part of the Massachusetts Body of Liberties. Anti-cruelty statutes were passed in several states in the 1820s, but it was rare for the laws to be enforced. The 1950s was one of the most significant decades in terms of progress in enforcing laws relating to animal cruelty. It was also during this decade that the Society for Animal Protective Legislation was founded and there was a boost to the animal welfare and rights and movement.

Since that time, there has been a significant change in attitudes towards animals and their rights and this is something that continues to develop to the advantage of animals. While it is important to appreciate the progress made in this area that is evidenced by the drop in animal welfare cases, it is still just as important to look to the future to consider if it is possible to make even greater improvements.


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