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Animal Abuse

Media reports are bringing attention, again, to allegations of animal abuse by military members. Animal abuse is an enumerated offense under Artucle 134, UCMJ, and you could end up with an Article 15 or even court-martial for the allegations.

A rough search of Lexis or Westlaw by your military lawyer and defense counsel will show very few prosecutions for some form of animal abuse.

Army Times reports about Soldiers in Hawaii accused of blow-darting cats. Note, it is not clear that it actually is soldiers involved. Rather, the events are around Schofield Barracks and soldiers have been reported returning from overseas with blow darts.

If you face adverse action for this type of offense, the prosecution or commander needs to have evidence to prove the following. Your military defense counsel can assist you deal with these types of allegations.

1. Wrongful abused, neglect, or abandoned a certain (public*) animal.

2. There was serious injury or death; and

under the circumstances, the conduct was either:

(i) to the prejudice of good order and discipline;

(ii) was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces;

(iii) or was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces and of a nature to bring discredit upon th armed forces.

3. Sexual act with an animal. Strange as it may seem, there is, reportedly but not available, an old case of a sailor having "intercourse" with a sheep, in Scotland.

(a) Engaged in a sexual act with an animal, and see 2. above.

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