Animal Abuse and Neglect
Regulation of the treatment of animals takes place on the federal, state, and local level.
Indiana state law prohibits the following:
- Cruelty, abandonment, and neglect of animals.
- Acts of torture and physical abuse of an animal are a crime in Indiana. IC 35-46-3-12.
- Conducting, promoting, participating in, and attending an animal fighting contest are crimes in Indiana. IC 35-46-3-8 through IC 35-46-3-10.
- Neglect or abandonment of an animal is a crime in Indiana. IC 35-46-3-7. A court may permanently confiscate animals that are abused or neglected. IC 35-46-3-6.
Regulation of the treatment of animals in Indiana is not limited to state laws, counties may regulate animals. Animal shelters and animal control agencies are local institutions usually overseen by city or county government or a nonprofit organization.
The Board of Animal Health has limited jurisdiction in animal abuse and neglect matters. BOAH will assist law enforcement officials in their investigation these crimes and provide information and analysis to a court after an order has been issued.
Report a case of animal neglect or abuse:
Concerns involving dogs, cats and other pets should be reported to local animal control and law enforcement agencies.
Concerns involving livestock, horses and poultry should be reported to local law enforcement and the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.
Dead Animal Disposal
Livestock Care at Markets
Care and Handling
Every person licensed to operate a market facility (including livestock auction markets, stockyards and concentration points) in Indiana must maintain a minimum standard of care for animals in that facility. Livestock housed at a market for more than 24 hours must have access to feed and water. Use of implements, such as electric prods, canes, whips, paddles or canvas straps, to drive animals must be limited only to the extent reasonably necessary to handle or drive livestock. 345 IAC 7-3.5-16
Occasionally, because of illness or injury, individual animals arrive at a market conscious, but unable to walk or stand without assistance.
State law prohibits markets from accepting delivery of these nonambulatory (or "downed") livestock. However, market facilities in Indiana may unload the nonambulatory livestock for the purpose of euthanizing the animal.
Markets must have written policies, procedures and equipment in place to handle animals that become nonambulatory after delivery to the facility.
By law, livestock that becomes nonambulatory after arriving at a market facility must be disposed of within 24 hours of discovery or receiving of notice of the animal's condition.
The Board recommends that livestock that becomes non-ambulatory on the farm or en route to a market be treated, or disposed of by one of three methods:
- Delivery to a recognized slaughter establishment by the owner or his agent;
- Slaughter on the farm in compliance with the Meat and Poultry Inspection, Humane Slaughter Act; or