The answer is partly an enumeration of facts. It is also a matter of opinion whether you'd call something animal cruelty. In general and totally undisputed the following applies:

Thus far it is easy. The practical difficulty is defining animal welfare into daily practices. Is keeping a bird in a cage an example of abuse or a form of holding hostage? What about angling? What animals can be held as pets?

For those who want to see how these rights are been violated, click here.

Animals are supposed to be:

  1. free from thirst, hunger and from the incorrect diet.
  2. free from discomfort (in cramped conditions, or where it is too wet, too dry, too warm, or too cold).
  3. free from pain, injury and disease; (including the results of bad breeding and amputations).
  4. free from fear and distress (being scared of being left alone for too long and too often).
  5. free to express normal behaviour.

It is even harder to answer the question whether or not there are certain products or practices which underlie animal suffering. What symptoms do they show? Do you get involved in animal abuse when you buy products that have been tested on animals, or when you eat meat? When I visit a children's farm or a zoo? You can find examples to these questions via these links. The local RSPCA is kept busy enough with the worst cases of animal abuse. When you come across a clear case of abuse then do contact them.

Important in the prevention of animal abuse is awareness. People have to recognize the tendencies within others and themselves that inevitably lead to the suffering of animals.
There are many different causes that can often be tracked down to less noble motives, such as vanity, loneliness, neglect, sadism. Neutral terms are competitions (contests and shows with animals), the need for company and entertainment, sports and games.

Whenever the consumer realizes in how far the consequences of their daily life works on the situation of animals, many of them would be struck by the facts. This is partly the reason why not many would try to find out what the consequences are of their actions for animals. They would, almost inevitably, come in conflict with their conscience.

Still, we can also state a positive conclusion; how we can best deal with animals is knowing what we shouldn't do. This doesn't have to cost us any energy or extra effort and can be really satisfying.