The Bureau will establish a national animal cruelty database, similar to ones that already exist for sex offenders and violent crime

By Alex Heigl
January 05, 2016 07:32 PM

Starting this year, the FBI will begin to track animal cruelty cases nationwide.

The agency, which already has national databases for crimes like murder and rape, had previously lumped animal abuse into an “other” category with less serious crimes.

“This is the biggest change out of the FBI. This is a giant leap forward and people in law enforcement are hitting the ground running,” Ohio’s Montgomery County Animal Resource Center officer Mark Kumpf told WDTN.

Cases uploaded into the database will be divided into four categories: Animal neglect, torture, and organized abuse (e.g. dog-fighting rings) and animal sex abuse.

The FBI plans to use the data it compiles to look at trends and draw conclusions, as it does with its sexual abuse and violent crime databases.

“This is going to give not just national authorities, but local authorities the correlation between animal cruelty and child abuse and neglect, assaults, homicides, gang violence and show where those offenses occur and where others are also likely to occur,” said Kumpf.