Revised Animal Cruelty Bill Headed to Legislature - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Revised Animal Cruelty Bill Headed to Legislature

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Several legislators have expressed support for a revised bill that would make animal cruelty a felony in Arkansas, sending the measure on to the Legislature when it meets in regular session next year.

Arkansas is one of only five states that do not make animal cruelty a first-offense felony.  Currently, Arkansas law says cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor.  Efforts to toughen the law have failed in previous legislative sessions amid concerns raised by hunters, farmers and others who deal with animals for a living.

Legislative committee members agreed yesterday that abusive behaviour toward animals has become a serious problem in the state and animal abuse can lead to violence toward people.  A revised bill eliminates a provision to make it a felony to abuse an animal in front of a child but adds a requirement that animal cruelty investigators undergo training and certification.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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