Amended Animal Cruelty Bill Clears House Ag Committee

18 02 2011

We were alerted of this story via the Clarion Ledger. One state steps up to make animal abuse a felony beginning at the second offense. Kudos Mississippi!

Animal cruelty legislation that has repeatedly died in the House Agriculture Committee cleared that group today with compromise amendments.

The Humane Society of the United States and Mississippi Farm Bureau agreed to the changes that include a felony provision for second-offense aggravated cruelty to a dog or cat.

Senate Bill 2821, introduced by Sen. Bob Dearing, D-Natchez, passed the Senate on Feb. 9. The substitute version contains exemptions for killing animals in order to protect livestock. It moves on to the House Judiciary B committee. If it clears the House, it will have be sent back to the Senate for concurrence.

“Updating the antiquated cruelty laws in Mississippi has been a top priority for The Humane Society of the United States, and we hope this bill passes for the protection of Mississippi’s pets and citizens,” Lydia Sattler, The Humane Society of the United States’ Mississippi state director, said in a news release. “The compromise reached today by the agricultural committee, and agreed to by both groups, will provide meaningful penalties for the worst cases of animal cruelty and we look forward to passage of this important legislation.”

“We feel this will protect agriculture and rural Mississippians and applaud the committee for diligent work to balance the rights of our members and animal cruelty concerns,” Randy Knight, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation president, said in the news release.

 The Arkansas Farm Bureau reached a similar compromise with The Humane Society in 2009, when Arkansas became the 46th state to enact a felony law for certain acts of cruelty to animals.

“I have taken criticism for not passing earlier versions of this bill,” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Greg Ward, D-Ripley, said in the news release. “But on important matters like animal cruelty, which have significant implications for farmers and rural Mississippians, I think it’s best we take our time and make sure we get it right. This bill protects animals and it protects farmers, and I’d like to see it become the law.”

Senate Bill 2127, authored by Sen. Billy Hewes, R-Gulfport, that would have made aggravated cruelty to a dog or cat a felony on the first offense died in committee today.



One response

20 02 2011
LB 305 headed to floor debate | Taking care of your pet

[…] Amended Animal Cruelty Bill Clears House Ag Committee « Animal … […]

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