Utah House and Senate Adopt Animal Cruelty Bill

The new legislation would make the deliberate torture of a cat or dog a third-degree felony.

Posted: March 3 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Utah House and Senate Adopt Animal Cruelty Bill
New legislation would make it a felony to torture domestic cats and dogs in Utah.
Last week, the Utah State Senate passed SB 297, a bill that would make it a felony to torture domestic cats and dogs. The bill, sponsored by Senator Allen Christensen (R-North Ogden) would make Utah the 44th state to have a felony-level animal torture law. The House of Representatives adopted the legislation Friday.

Utah state legislators have addressed the issue of animal torture several times over the past year. SB 102, which makes torture of an animal a felony offense, was not given a hearing. SB 117, which would amend provisions of the Utah Criminal Code relating to animal cruelty and was opposed by many state animal welfare groups, was passed by one vote in the Senate. HB 470, introduced by Rep. Sheryl Allen (R-Davis), was held up after going before the House Judiciary Committee.

SB 297 is a “compromise bill” that addresses the issues voiced by legislators over the previous bills.

“This is a landmark action,” said Gene Baierschmidt, executive director of the Humane Society of Utah. “It’s important because it finally puts some real teeth in the state’s animal-protection laws without weakening the statutes that are already in place.”

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Reader Comments

Alexis    St. Louis, MO

3/10/2011 10:06:33 PM

Yes! This is such a milestone in the U.S.A. I hope that other states pass these felony laws as well.

Robert    Syracuse, NY

3/10/2008 9:42:16 PM

Excellent! We need to get all 50 states to enact such laws and enforce them.

cyan    lakewood, CO

3/4/2008 3:35:53 PM

great article

Ellen    Attleboro, MA

3/4/2008 12:43:37 AM

GREAT!

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