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(p. 3) Animal Maltreatment as a Social Problem 

(p. 3) Animal Maltreatment as a Social Problem
(p. 3) Animal Maltreatment as a Social Problem

Gary Patronek

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date: 21 October 2017

Society’s attitudes toward non-human animals have been inconsistent, contradictory, of mixed motives, and even regressive at times. Despite that uneven and sometimes obscure path, it is clear that many animals today benefit from a very special status in Western society. Beginning with historical reflections on the nature of human-animal relations, this chapter proceeds to review the history of attitudes and laws regarding animal maltreatment, as well as the influence of other social justice movements and changing conceptualizations of animal welfare in more recent years. The chapter enables forensic examiners to put animal maltreatment in social and legal context when engaging in evaluations of an animal maltreatment offender. The chapter concludes with a discussion of difficulties associated with arriving at a consensus about definitions of animal maltreatment terms and concepts, as well as a description of definitions used in this book.

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