Next Article in Journal
The Effect of Forage-to-Concentrate Ratio on Schizochytrium spp.-Supplemented Goats: Modifying Rumen Microbiota
Next Article in Special Issue
Preliminary Considerations for Crime Scene Analysis in Cases of Animals Affected by Homemade Ammonium Nitrate and Aluminum Powder Anti-Personnel Landmines in Colombia: Characteristics and Effects
Previous Article in Journal
Towards a Framework for High-Performance Simulation of Livestock Disease Outbreak: A Case Study of Spread of African Swine Fever in Vietnam
 
 
Article

Characterization of Suspected Crimes against Companion Animals in Portugal

1
Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto (UP), Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
2
Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, Rua dos Lagidos, Lugar da Madalena, 4485-655 Vairão, Portugal
3
Epidemiology Research Unit (EPIUnit), Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Taipas 135, 4050-600 Porto, Portugal
4
i3S—Instituto de Investigação e Inovação da Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Shared senior authorship.
Academic Editors: Giuseppe Piegari, Davide De Biase and Jason W. Brooks
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092744
Received: 16 August 2021 / Revised: 10 September 2021 / Accepted: 16 September 2021 / Published: 20 September 2021
Crimes against companion animals are universal and represent a major problem in human/animal interaction. This study characterizes forensic cases received at the Laboratory of Pathology of the National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Investigation (Vairão, Portugal) since the enforcement of the Portuguese law that criminalizes the mistreatment and abandonment of companion animals. Based on the consult of 160 data files of forensic necropsies analyzed for this study, the suspicion of prior crime against companion animal was confirmed in 38 cases (24%). Most of the assaulted animals were medium-size (57%) male (58%) dogs (87%) of crossbreed (55%), whose death was related to blunt force trauma (31%), firearms (27%), poisoning (27%), and asphyxiation (15%). However, in cats, death was related to blunt force trauma only (100%). In Portugal, violence against animals is a reality and the complaint of these crimes is gradually increasing due to the population’s raising awareness about animal rights.
Animal crimes are a widespread phenomenon with serious implications for animal welfare, individual well-being and for society in general. These crimes are universal and represent a major problem in human/animal interaction. In Portugal, current law 69/2014 criminalizes the mistreatment and abandonment of companion animals. This study characterizes forensic cases received at the Laboratory of Pathology of the National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Investigation (Vairão) since the enforcement of the aforementioned legislation. A retrospective study was carried out based on the consult of 160 data files of forensic necropsies from 127 dogs and 33 cats. Necropsies confirmed prior crime suspicion in 38 cases (24%), from which 33 were dogs and five were cats. Among confirmed cases, most of assaulted animals were medium-size (57%), crossbreed (55%) male (58%) dogs (87%), which were the victims of blunt force trauma (31%), firearms (27%), poisoning (27%) and asphyxiation (15%). In cats, most of the assaulted animals were juvenile (60%) females (60%) of unknown breed (40%), which suffered blunt force trauma (100%) as the only cause of death. The present study shows that violence against animals is a reality, and complaints about these crimes are gradually increasing due to the population’s raising awareness about animal rights. Greater communication and coordination between clinicians, veterinary pathologists, and law enforcement officers are essential to validate and legally support these cases and subject them to trial. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal abuse; forensic veterinary necropsy; dogs; cats animal abuse; forensic veterinary necropsy; dogs; cats
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Araújo, D.; Lima, C.; Mesquita, J.R.; Amorim, I.; Ochôa, C. Characterization of Suspected Crimes against Companion Animals in Portugal. Animals 2021, 11, 2744. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092744

AMA Style

Araújo D, Lima C, Mesquita JR, Amorim I, Ochôa C. Characterization of Suspected Crimes against Companion Animals in Portugal. Animals. 2021; 11(9):2744. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092744

Chicago/Turabian Style

Araújo, Diana, Carla Lima, João R. Mesquita, Irina Amorim, and Cristina Ochôa. 2021. "Characterization of Suspected Crimes against Companion Animals in Portugal" Animals 11, no. 9: 2744. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092744

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop