Japan police report record number of animal abuse cases in 2023

Photo: Kyodo

The number of animal abuse cases in Japan in which police took action rose by 15 to 181 in 2023 from the previous year, marking an all-time high, according to the National Police Agency, Xinhua reports. 

The agency said there were 181 cases in which people were questioned or taken into custody on suspicion of violating the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals in 2023. The act bans cruelty to animals and their inappropriate handling.

The figure was the highest since data became available in 2010, marking a 3.8-fold increase over the past decade.

Of the total abuse cases, 97 involved cats and 65 involved dogs. Animals involved also included chickens, hamsters, rabbits, cows, horses, turtles and ferrets.

In the 162 cases involving cats and dogs, there were 64 cases of abandonment, 41 cases of death or injury, and 57 cases of not feeding the animals properly or keeping them in an unsanitary environment.

Police said more people owning pets during the pandemic and growing awareness of animal welfare in recent years may have contributed to the increase in the number of abuse reports.

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