Desecrating the Ark: Animal Abuse and the Law's Role in Prevention

73 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2002


In this Article, Professor Livingston examines the history and philosophy of animal cruelty laws and also surveys the scope and content of contemporary American anti-cruelty statutes. She explores, moreover, a substantial body of social science data that suggest a correlation between the commission of animal abuse and a propensity for other violent behavior. From her survey of current law, Professor Livingston concludes that lawmakers should amend animal cruelty statutes to provide for mandatory psychological treatment for youthful offenders and harsher penalties for older and habitual offenders. She observes that animal abuse as a crime not only affects the animals targeted but has wider implications for society as a whole.

Keywords: animal cruelty, violent behavior, animal cruelty statutes, youth

Suggested Citation

Livingston, Margit, Desecrating the Ark: Animal Abuse and the Law's Role in Prevention. Iowa Law Review, Vol. 87, No. 1, October 2001. Available at SSRN:

Margit Livingston (Contact Author)

DePaul University College of Law ( email )

25 East Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604-2287
United States
3123628701 (Phone)
3123625448 (Fax)

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