Yes it is illegal but, much like other illegal things, it happens all the time. Witness the many children and minors living on the streets. Also don't believe that animals don't get abused in America because "there are laws". University of California at Riverside sewed a one day old baby monkey's eyes shut roughly and painfully with thick coarse thread "as an experiment" and another college runs dogs to death on treadmills, electrically shocking them, to "see" when their hearts will give out. Tanya Rot at the University of Delaware makes mice swim till they drown but as an "experiment" which legally "justifies" it. Justify is the most horrible word in the English language as it's NEVER followed by anything good. Other countries such as Syria torture to death, driving to despair and murdering as diabolical sacrifices in a Furka shaped building, and our Government plays "diplomacy" and "politics" with such monsters. Life's not a dress rehearsal, it's really Mary and the Witch's Flower.