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The definition of "cruelty to animals"


15 October, 1999x

  1. "Cruelty to an animal" means
    1. causing physical or psychological distress to an animal with intent or through neglect, or wounding or killing an animal in a cruel fashion.
      Cases: Kittens were beaten to death with a washing-line rod (Aichi Prefecture, 1998); a cat was drenched in petrol and set alight (Hokkaido, 1997); somebody killed a cat, dissected it and left the body parts in front of people's homes (Nagasaki City, 1997); somebody crushed the legs of a puppy and buried it alive down from the neck (Ibaraki Prefecture, 1996).
    2. neglecting to give food and water to an animal essential to its well-being leading to exhaustion and possible death, or causing distress to an animal by keeping it in conditions contrary to its natural behaviour and ecology.
      Cases: Three birds died because they were neither fed nor given water (Ibaraki, 1996); 9000 chickens met the same fate at a poultry farm (Yamaguchi Prefecture); a breeder let more than 100 dogs die of starvation or illness (Aichi Prefecture, 1998); a man let his dogs breed freely, and finally had to look after 250 animals all by himself, creating a nuisance for the neighborhood (Okayama Prefecture, 1997).
    3. making animals fight each other or humans, or chasing dogs etc. after other animals.
      Cases: habu (snake) and mangoose shows (Okinawa Prefecture); betting on fighting dogs and fighting birds (Chiba Prefecture and others); dogs were let into rabbit cages at primary schools and kindergardens and bit many animals to death (this happened repeatedly in 1997/8 in Saitama and other prefectures).
    4. transporting animals over long distances in conditions inflicting stress.
      Cases: many tropical birds die during transport into the country (source: film by the International Society for the Protection of Birds); stray cats and dogs that had been picked up and put into plastic bags died on the way to cat/dog pound (report by the municipality).
    5. poisoning animals, or maiming or killing animals illegally with snares.
      Cases: somebody poisoned two dogs which had been tied up in a private garden (Kawazaki City, 1997); somebody left pesticide tainted bread on the sidewalk, where it was eaten by two dogs that subsequently died (Mie Prefecture, 1996); someone set a steel trap in a residential area, cutting off the leg of a cat (Hyogo Prefecture, 1995).

  2. "Abandoning an animal" means
    1. throwing away an animal in one's possession, neglecting an animal by denying it the care essential to its well-being, or by leaving it in a state of illness.
      Cases: an abandoned crocodile was caught but died shortly after (Aichi Prefecture, 1998); badgers and wallabies were found abandoned in a parking lot (Nara Prefecture, 1998); a zoo received 20000 requests in one single year asking it to adopt wild animals which people kept and no longer wanted (Tochigi Prefecture, 1998); dogs are tied up and abandoned (TV report); every year the authorities catch 300000 dogs which have been abandoned by their owners.