In many states, veterinarians are now required by law to report cases of animal abuse to authorities. Massachusetts has become the 15th state in the United States to impose this mandate. According to the law, failure to report cases of animal abuse to authorities could result in disciplinary action from the Massachusetts Board of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, vice president of animal welfare for the animal Rescue League of Boston, says that these laws have become more common because of an increased focus on animal abuse from law enforcement. “We are seeing an increasing number of local police departments taking the investigation of suspected animal cruelty more seriously because of the growing understanding of the co-occurrence of other crimes,” she said.
Here’s a full list of states where veterinarians are required to report animal abuse:
• North Dakota
• West Virginia