Editors' Introduction

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This chapter explains the need for an expanded focus on sites of animal abuse and harm and establishes the rational for the Handbook, arguing that regardless of whether legal or illegal, unintentional or intentional, commonplace or infrequent, all forms of animal abuse should be opened up for nonspeciesist scrutiny. This is true of other major forms of interpersonal and institutional violence such as sexism, racism and ageism, so why not for speciesism? Disentangling some of the complicated attitudes and relationships that exist between humans and animals at sites of animal abuse, the authors then provide an overview of the chapters and parts, which detail consideration of specific forms of abuse and the widespread harms implicit in our ‘use’ of animals. For the first time there is an effort in criminology to identify and collate studies which consider widespread impacts and implications of animal harms. Through contributions from international authors, this chapter concludes that this collaborative, multidisciplinary approach opens a door to new horizons in criminology and facilitates unique approaches to our understanding and prevention of animal abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave International Handbook of Animal Abuse Studies
EditorsJennifer Maher, Harriet Pierpoint, Piers Beirne
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-43183-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-43182-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • animal abuse studies
  • animal harm
  • legal and illegal harm
  • green criminology


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