Animal Studies Journal


Animal activism has an increasing focus on carceral based punishment that argues for animal abuse to be harshly prosecuted. One of the emerging trends is advocating for Animal Abuse Registries similar to the US-style of Sex Offender Registry. This paper challenges the effectiveness and suitability of these Animal Abuse Registries through a critical reflection on Sex Offender Registries. As a result of this, Animal Abuse Registries are extrapolated to be ineffective and perhaps damaging to animals and animal advocacy. The contention that arises from this paper is what constitutes animal cruelty in a society that has industrial slaughter? Further, the paper argues that Animal Abuse Registries may allow for the discursive move to seeing animal cruelty as only individual instances against pets while failing to challenge the abuse of those animals whose purpose is to be a product in relation to capital. In challenging Animal Abuse Registries, animal advocates should turn away from the carceral to focus on challenging how we conceive of cruelty and who is deemed an animal worthy of protection.