North Carolina Senate Bill 613 would establish and regulate the operation of a state animal abuser registry. The bill would also prohibit “ownership, charge, or custody of all animals” for up to five years following a second conviction for animal cruelty.
North Carolina Considers Establishing Animal Abuser Registry, Ownership Ban for Repeat Abusers
Louisiana Legislation Would Define “Proper Shelter”
Louisiana House Bill 223 would amend the state’s animal cruelty prohibition to define “proper shelter” as “an upright, weather resistant structure with three walls, an opening, a roof, and a floor; it shall be free of waste and standing water, and it shall be sufficient in size for an animal to stand in an upright position, turn around, and make normal posturing positions.” The definition excludes “animal carriers, plastic crates, and other enclosures designed to provide temporary housing.”
Texas Considers Requiring Mandatory Animal Abuse Reporting
Texas House Bill 4330 would require that any licensed veterinarian, employee of Health and Human Services, or employee of the Department of Child and Family Services who is acting within the scope of their employment and has “reasonable cause to believe that a person has committed” an animal cruelty offense to a “domesticated nonlivestock animal shall report, as soon as possible, the suspected offense.” The bill would also exempt such actors from civil and criminal liability tied to such reporting as long as they did not act in bad faith or maliciously.
Texas Bill Would Create Offense of Possession of Animal by Person Convicted of Multiple Offenses of Animal Cruelty
Texas House Bill 4282 would make it a Class C misdemeanor for a person to who has been convicted of multiple offenses of animal cruelty to possess or reside in a household where an animal is present. The bill would also require anyone convicted under the prohibition “to permanently relinquish custody of any animals in the defendant’s possession.”
New York Legislation Would Expand Application of Aggravated Cruelty to Include All Animals
New York Senate Bill 5615 would expand the current prohibition on aggravated cruelty to animals from applying only to companion animals to all animals.
New York Legislation Would Criminalize Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle Resulting in Death or Serious Injury of a Companion Animal
New York Senate Bill 5445 would expand the definition of aggravated animal cruelty to include reckless operation of a motor vehicle resulting in the death or serious injury of a companion animal.
Rhode Island Bill Would Allow Appointment of Attorney or Law Student in Criminal or Civil Cases
Rhode Island Senate Bill 534 would allow courts to appoint a pro bono attorney or professor-supervised law student “as an advocate appointed to promote the interests of justice” in any criminal or civil proceeding where the welfare or custody of an animal is at issue. The bill would grant such advocates “the right to participate in all hearings, conferences, correspondences and plea bargaining sessions in any given case” and to “present relevant information and recommendations to the court relevant to the resolution of the matter that serves the interests of justice.”
Rhode Island Bill Would Allow for Donation and Reissue of Animal Drugs
Rhode Island Senate Bill 489 would allow for the donation of medication used for animals to a licensed veterinarian or “a facility in which veterinary medicine is practiced if the licensed veterinarian or facility chooses to accept the drug.” The bill would permit such donated medications to be reissued to treat animals at a “registered nonprofit shelter, municipal pound, shelter, veterinary clinic, or animal rescue facility” or to be used by licensed wildlife rehabilitators. Donated medications could not be used to treat animals “raised to produce food for human consumption” or animals “ordinarily consumed by animals that are raised to produce food for human consumption.” Veterinarians and facilities would be granted immunity from “any civil or criminal liability or disciplinary action by a professional licensing board for any loss, injury or death that results from the donation, acceptance, distribution or dispensation for the drug” as long as all requirements of the bill are followed.
West Virginia Considers Establishing Anti-Bestiality Law
West Virginia House Bill 2827 would create the felony offense of “sexual crimes against an animal” with penalties of 1 to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. The bill would require that anyone convicted of the crime to relinquish custody of all animals under the person’s control, obtain psychiatric or psychological counseling, and be prohibited from harboring animals or being present where animals are present for at least ten years. The bill contains exemptions for accepted veterinary procedures; “artificial insemination of an animal for reproductive purposes; [a]ccepted animal husbandry practices, including grooming, raising, breeding, or assisting with the birthing process”; generally accepted “practices related to the judging of breed conformation”; and “affection towards a pet such as petting, hugging, or kissing in a non-sexual manner.”
Illinois Considers Raising Penalties for Aggravated Cruelty Causing Death to Companion Animals
Illinois Senate Bill 2266 would raise a conviction for aggravated cruelty to a companion animal that causes the death of the animal to a Class 3 felony from a Class 4 felony, a second or subsequent conviction of aggravated cruelty to a companion animal that causes “serious injury” to a Class 3 felony from a Class 4 felony, and a second or subsequent conviction of aggravated cruelty to a companion animal that causes the death of the animal to a Class 2 felony from a Class 3 felony.