May 2016 Issue - page 9

May 2016
Page 9
By Suzanne Bush
Early this year 16 starving
horses, along with numerous
sheep and goats, were removed
from a farm in Carbon County,
PA. Three of the horses died at
a veterinary hospital; one was
euthanized because it was so
neurologically damaged that it
could no longer stand. Two of
the horses were so thin that they
were rated zero on the Henneke
Scale—a measurement of a
horse’s body condition. A horse
with a score of one is profoundly
emaciated. Rescuers at the scene
reported burn piles throughout
the pasture, with the remains of
dogs, horses and other animals
piled together under pallets and
old mattresses. The owner of the
farm, a large animal veterinarian,
faces numerous charges of animal
cruelty. His veterinary license
was revoked.
In March, an undernour-
ished, nearly blind mare was
found tethered inside the New
Holland auction barn. The mare
had been shot 130 times at close
range with paint balls. A truck
driver who had brought the mare
to the auction for sale has been
charged with animal abuse,
bringing a horse without a health
certificate across state lines and
attempting to sell a debilitated
horse. When officials at New
Holland refused to put the mare,
now known as Lily, through the
auction because she was so debil-
itated, the driver returned after
the auction was over, sneaked
into the barn area and tied her up,
abandoning her.
In January 2016 the Federal
Bureau of Investigation began
collecting data on animal cruelty
in their National Incident-Based
Reporting System (NIBRS),
concluding that the National
Sheriffs Association and the
Animal Welfare Institute were
correct about the connections
between abuse of animals and
crimes against humans. Those
two groups had been lobbying the
FBI for several years, trying to
persuade them that animal cruelty
should be considered a major
crime, and that statistics about
animal cruelty should be part
of a national database. Prior to
this change, incidents of animal
abuse, cruelty, neglect and torture
were collected in an “all other
offenses” category.
Are There Patterns of Abuse?
The FBI and the groups
that advocate for animal welfare
believe that over time, the data
collected will provide a compre-
hensive picture of where animal
abuse is most prevalent, and
who is more likely to commit
abuse. The agencies submitting
data about animal cruelty arrests
to the NIBRS will be required
to report not only the specific
(Continued on page 26)
Animal Cruelty
Cases Will Be
Part of National
Incidence Based
Registry System
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