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Cross-Reporting Suspected Abuse (Florida)

Requires cross-reporting of suspected abuse by child protective investigators and animal control officers (SB 96)

SB 96, sponsored by Senator Lauren Book (D-32), would require child protective investigators and animal control officers to report suspected animal and child abuse. Additionally, the bill strengthens penalties for the sexual abuse of animals.

Updated

April 7, 2021

Work Type

Legislation

Status

Active

Update: SB 96 has passed the Florida Senate unanimously! The bill is currently under consideration in the Florida House of Representatives.

Communication between government agencies is critical to helping ensure multiple forms of abuse — including animal abuse — are exposed and addressed. Cross-reporting is a multi-disciplinary approach to reporting suspected abuse. Laws requiring that agencies responsible for investigating various forms of abuse regularly communicate with one another and report suspected abuse to the proper authorities are crucial to protecting both humans and animals.

SB 96, sponsored by Senator Lauren Book (D-32), would require child protective investigators and animal control officers to report suspected animal and child abuse. Additionally, the bill strengthens penalties for the sexual abuse of animals.

“The Link” refers to the relationship between violence against humans and animal cruelty. Dozens of studies document this link, particularly the link between animal abuse and other forms of abuse such as elder abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence. The FBI now collects data on animal cruelty crimes alongside other felonies, like homicide and arson, and includes animal cruelty as a category in its National Incident-Based Reporting System. The Link makes it critically important that suspected abuse is reported by professionals likely to encounter it. Requiring cross-reporting between animal control officers and child protective investigators will help protect some of our most vulnerable populations.

Currently, 16 states plus the District of Columbia require certain state employees report certain types of suspected abuse to the appropriate law enforcement or governmental agency.

Learn more about The Link.

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