Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arkansas Out of the Dark Ages with Cruelty Law

It's not perfect, but it's progress in one of the more animal welfare-challenged parts of the US.

Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law new animal-cruelty restrictions that make aggravated cruelty to cats, dogs and horses a felony on the first offense...

Arkansas becomes the 46th state to make cruelty to animals a felony, according to the Humane Society of the United States....

The law, which will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns, makes aggravated animal cruelty on first offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to six years in prison. The bill also includes a five-year sentencing enhancement for anyone convicted of torturing an animal in the presence of a child.

In exchange for the stiffer penalties, animal welfare groups made several concessions, including a change in state law so only certified law enforcement officers can arrest someone for animal cruelty.

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