Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse, animal neglect or simply animal cruelty, is both the unintentional (animal neglect) and the intentional infliction by humans of suffering or harm upon any non-human animal, regardless of whether the act is against the law. More narrowly, it can be the causing of harm or suffering for specific achievement, such as killing animals for food or for their fur; opinions differ about the extent of cruelty associated with a given method of slaughter. Cruelty to animals sometimes encompasses inflicting harm or suffering for personal amusement, as in zoosadism.
Divergent approaches to laws concerning animal cruelty occur in different jurisdictions throughout the world. For example, some laws govern methods of killing animals for food, clothing, or other products, and other laws concern the keeping of animals for entertainment, education, research, or pets.