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Richmond, KY
1:29 am, February 22, 2024
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New legislation filed this week would severely punish those that abuse animals

New legislation filed this week would severely punish those that abuse animals

Legislation aimed at combatting animal cruelty in Kentucky was filed this week by Representative Susan Witten. The measure, HB 258, expands the definition of “torture” as it relates to dogs and cats. 

“By filing this piece of legislation, we aim to bring awareness to animal cruelty and improve animal welfare in Kentucky while protecting the rights of our farmers and legal hunters,” Witten said. “Kentucky ranks among the nation’s worst states for animal abuse. We can do better and we should.”

Under HB 258, torture would be defined as the intentional infliction of or subjection to extreme physical pain or serious injury and includes situations in which torture results from the restraint of a dog or cat. Examples of torture could include intentionally causing fractures, broken bones, cuts, burns, bruises, punctures, hanging, impalement, or starvation. 

HB 258 ensures that animal abuse offenders will be held accountable by making the first offense of the crime a Class D felony rather than a Class A misdemeanor and would also allow each act of torture to constitute a separate offense.

“Not only is torturing a dog or cat inhumane, but study after study shows that those who abuse animals often go on to abuse children and other vulnerable individuals. By harshening the sentence for this crime, we can hold animal abusers accountable and prevent them from escalating,” Witten said.

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