Make Second-Offense Animal Cruelty a Felony

animal-cute-kitten-cat-large skitterphotodotcom

Target: Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Jim Rice

Goal:  Support making second-offense animal cruelty a felony in Idaho.

Republican Ilana Rubel proposed a bill to the senate which would make the second offense of animal cruelty a felony. In addition to this, the bill better defines torture and would make it a first-offense felony if a minor was present at the time the act was committed. However, farm groups in Idaho oppose the bill and are trying to ensure it does not pass into law.

Rubel is baffled by the opposition as her bill specifically excludes production agriculture. In effect, she is receiving resistance from a group the bill does not affect at all. She stated that as a strong supporter of animal agriculture she had taken extra precautions to ensure the agriculture community was not affected by the bill.

Rubel’s bill bears some similarity to a bill that was introduced in 2013 by Ken Andrus, Chairman of the House Agricultural Affairs Committee. Like Rubel’s, his bill made a second animal cruelty offense a felony and better defined torture. It failed because of opposition from farm groups. The new Chairman, Senator Jim Rice, has since said that he will not hear any bill similar to the one Andrus passed in 2013. Instead, he wants to treat animal cruelty as a mental illness, which cannot be solved by mere jail-time.

While there is some truth to this, it should not prevent the state from putting stricter laws in place to punish convicted criminals. Oftentimes, people who commit acts of sexual assault and murder are also suffering from mental illnesses, but strict criminal laws are in place for them too. Animal rights should get the same treatment.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Rice,

I am writing this letter to express my concern regarding a bill that was recently proposed by Republican Illana Rubel. Her bill would amend other animal rights laws in Idaho by putting in place stricter provisions. These include making the second offense of animal cruelty a felony, as well as define animal torture.

In 2013, a similar bill was put in place by Ken Andrus, Chairman of the House Agricultural Affairs Committee. The bill failed due to opposition from farm groups, similar to what Rubel is facing now. It also failed as a result of opposition from your predecessor. Similarly, you have taken a stance against any bill bearing a resemblance to Andrus’. This would include Rubel’s bill, as well.

I understand your position that people who commit animal cruelty should be psychologically evaluated and treated. However, this should not preempt putting stricter laws in place to deter people from committing animal cruelty and to punish those who do.

Oftentimes, people who commit acts of sexual assault and murder are also suffering from mental illnesses but strict criminal laws are in place for them too. Animal rights should get the same treatment. I urge you to support Rubel’s bill to tackle the growing problem of animal cruelty in Idaho and America at large.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: skitterphoto.com

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7 Comments

  1. Shelli Schmidt says:

    *However, farm groups in Idaho oppose the bill and are trying to ensure it does not pass into law*

    Well that’s a real shock, they’re more anti animal than Game Fish & Parks!

  2. make first offense animal cruelty a felony !!!

    • Natasha Glinsky says:

      Absolutely! I can’t sign a petition that starts out in the dark ages. I mean that we need do go for the maximum punishments now, not later.

  3. It’s strange and unbelievably pathetic that farm groups oppose
    a bill that tries to protect their very own farm animals! Wow,
    that shows you that the farm animals they raise and make money
    from are mere objects to them, not living beings at all —
    just like our Fish, Wildlife and Parks truly do not care about
    the wild animals they exist to protect (and side up with the
    farm groups to kill predators in any inhumane way possible)…
    Wow, sometimes I can’t even believe I live on such a backwards
    planet….I thought the Dark Ages were over a long time ago?
    It’s startling that the human race is so un-evolved when it
    comes to respecting animals….You mean we can’t even give
    farm animals the decency of not abusing them? To have any
    crime against animals taken seriously would be a miracle —
    but when it comes to farm animals, I’m sorry but it appears
    that the only way to stop the massive cruelty against them
    is to stop paying the farm groups and slaughterhouses to
    raise and kill them — therefore, we need to stop eating
    them….Sure, maybe there are a few humane farms who care
    about the animals they raise and kill — but many people
    are still not aware that farm-animal abuse branches out to
    wildlife destruction, and also widespread pollution…. You
    can go to The Center for Biological Diversity website to
    find out more…. Being vegetarian is not that hard, I have
    done so for 30 years…. Wow, I still can’t believe that
    farm groups don’t even care about their own animals… And
    they actually think 4-H teaches children to respect animals?
    I’m sorry, that’s a whole other story…. Was it Leonardo
    DaVinci who once said, “Someday people will look on the
    murder of animals, as they now look on the murder of men….”
    (in other words, it will be just as horrible and treated as
    the same kind of crime)…If DaVinci said that so very long
    ago, I hope we don’t have another hundred years before
    people understand it….

  4. MAKE IT FIRST TIME ANIMAL CRUELTY A FELONY NOW.

  5. I don’t understand why people who deliberately hurt animals get a second chance. What is wrong with the human race that it lets shits like this abuse in the first place. All animal abusers should be severely punished, locked up, fined and have their photos on posters all round their home towns.

  6. lizzy jacobs says:

    If you do the same with people, they say it is murder.
    Those pour animals feel pain, just like us, so don’t ignore it.

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