Animals in Criminology and Transnational Organised Crime

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Contrary to their considerable absence in criminological literature, animals have been present in criminology for centuries: in the criminal justice system as offenders, co-offenders, victims and commodities and in criminological research as a ‘red flag’ for violent offenders. Most recently, animals have featured as victims of, and facilitators for, serious, violent and organised criminality, and consequently have become pivotal to the burgeoning area of Green Criminology. With environmental crimes becoming one of the most profitable and fastest growing areas of national and international criminal activity, it is important to understand the place of non-human animals in contemporary crimes and recognise their value in criminology. This paper examines the position of animal abuse in crime in order to explore the many paradoxes and problems that arise when crime involves non-human animals. Findings from a UK government funded (Scoping Research on Illegal Puppy Trade and Puppy Farms 2017) and an EU funded (European Union Action to Fight Environmental Crime – EFFACE 2016) project are presented to demonstrate how animals are part of emerging transnational organised crimes and why it is essential to broaden the criminological gaze to the ‘other’ animals in society. The paper concludes by considering the steps required to improve our understanding of and responses to animal abuse in criminology. Including arguing for the development of reliable empirical research, animal-centred legislation and a multi-strategy animal focused response.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018
EventWCCSJ Annual Conference 2018 - Gregynog , Newtown, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Apr 20181 May 2018


ConferenceWCCSJ Annual Conference 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • animal abuse
  • organised crime
  • non-human animal
  • Green criminology


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