Animal abuse cases in Japan hit record 170 in 2021

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of animal abuse cases in Japan in which police took action rose by 68 to 170 in 2021 from the previous year, marking the highest level since data became available in 2010, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The rise is believed to reflect an increase in the number of reports made to the police by animal welfare groups and citizens amid a heightened social interest over the matter.

Police took action against 199 individuals and two groups on suspicion of violation of the animal protection law.

Of the total abuse cases, 95 involved cats and 60 involved dogs. Animals involved also included horses, ferrets and parakeets.

Animals were abandoned in 81 cases, while animals were not properly fed or living in an unsanitary environment in 48 cases. Animals were either killed or wounded in 41 cases.

In June last year, the Chiba prefectural police arrested a man in his 40s on suspicion of killing cats using an air gun.