[Friday] SB 117, the bill sponsored by Allen Christensen (R-Ogden) - which was strongly opposed by the Humane Society and other animal-advocacy groups throughout the state - unfortunately passed through the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Standing Committee by a vote of 4 to 2 and will now go to the Senate floor. Those voting FOR the bill were Senators Bell, Greiner, Hillyard, and M. Madsen. It was opposed by Senators McCoy and Romero. Senate Majority Leader John Valentine was absent. Senator Gene Davis's bill for increased penalties for animal torture (SB 102) was not introduced, although it was on the schedule, because time ran out.
We must now direct our major efforts to seeing that SB 117 goes no further. PLEASE e-mail your senator right now and ask him or her to block this bill from advancing through the Senate.
Please remember these basic points:
In order to be classified as an act of animal cruelty, the acts committed must be far more severe than they are in the existing code. For example, failure to provide necessary food, water, and shelter for an animal, abandonment of the animal, or transporting an animal in a cruel or confining manner are NOW considered cruelty, but under SB 117 they would only constitute "neglect." SB 117's definitions of cruelty include"serious, permanent disfigurement; serious injury which creates or causes protracted loss of a bodily member or organ; serious injury which causes a substantial risk of death; or serious injury which causes death."
It requires that a person be convicted twice within five years before he or she could be charged with a third-degree felony for torturing an animal.
It would allow someone to kill an animal to protect their property from destruction or potential damage.
SB 117 makes a large number of exemptions to the kinds of animals that would have any protection whatsoever. It literally states that horses, cattle, pigs, goats, furbearers, and the like are NOT animals at all and can be treated exactly like any inorganic, inanimate piece of property.
In short, the provisions of this appalling bill must not be allowed to become a part of Utah's laws. PLEASE, PLEASE contact your senator immediately and ask that he or she OPPOSE SB 117 when it comes up for discussion on the senate floor.
Please also ask that they try to get SB 102 heard before the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Standing Committee. The Humane Society SUPPORTS SB 102, which would make the deliberate torture of an animal a third-degree felony on the first offense, and also leaves the current animal-cruelty code intact.
Thanks for your support,
Rhonda, Larayn & Henry The Dog!!!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Puppy Torture Update
I stole this from Utah Amicus.