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Are Animal Cruelty Laws Too Lenient Compared to Other States

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Nicole Pasden

on 27 November 2013

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Transcript of Are Animal Cruelty Laws Too Lenient Compared to Other States

Animal Rights and Animal Rights Activist
Animal Rights
Moral Rights - what everyone should consider wrong and immoral
Legal Rights - actual laws that people have to follow
Animal Rights Activist
Anyone can be one (No Prerequisites Needed)
Fight for animals and their right to live happily
Are Michigan's Animal Cruelty and Neglect Laws Too Lenient Compared to Other States in the United States?
Nicole Pasden
History
"There has been no time in recorded history when respect and concern for some nonhuman animals was not an element in the human story." (Waldau, 2011)
Ancestors treated animals as their gods
Egyptians
Native Americans
This Relationship lead to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
ASPCA
The founder, Henry Bergh stressed, "This is a matter purely of conscience; it has no perplexing side issues. It is a moral question in all its aspects."
Had politicians sign his "Declaration of the Rights of Animals"
He convinced politicians and committees of his purpose, and the charter incorporating the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was passed on April 10, 1866.
Nine days later, an anti-cruelty law was passed, and the ASPCA granted the right to enforce it.
Animal Law
The first law school class in animal law was offered in 1990
The first volume of the Animal Law Review was published in 1994.
The first animal law casebook was not published until 2000.
Many law practices are now specializing in animal law and even some law schools have animal law clinics.
The National Association of Biomedical Research has formed an animal-law section. Publications by the animal-agriculture industry are sounding the alarm about animal lawyers’ efforts. Veterinary journals now regularly feature articles about avoiding or defending malpractice lawsuits, and an increasing number of attorneys are holding themselves out as experiences in veterinary malpractice defense
Veterinary Forensics
The field of veterinary forensics is slowly growing.
The experts in the field are teaching and spreading the word as fast as they can.
Veterinary forensics is extremely important in providing evidence in animal cruelty cases.
They deal with the evidence that is on the “victim,” dead or alive, they perform the necropsy (an autopsy for animals) and they tell the investigators how long the abuse has been happening or at least a general idea
Statistics
In 2010, 7,129 animals died from some form of abuse in the United States.
240 of those deaths were in Michigan.
4,883 out of 7,127 of the animals that died were Neglect/Abandonment cases.
213 cases were in Michigan
Case Statistics
47.7% of cases in the U.S. are alleged
24% get convictions
15.5% are Open or Pending
12.8% are either dismissed, acquitted or failure to appear in court
Felony, Ban and Protection
48 out of 50 states have felony animal abuse charges
North and South Dakota do not (as of 2010)
14 out of 50 states allow a ban of ownership to be placed on the owner automatically if they are convicted of a felony animal abuse charge
California, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia
7 out of 50 states allow a person to place an animal under a protection order
Either a personal protection order or a pet protection order
Michigan:
[1st offense and 1 victim]: 93 days in jail +/- $1,000 fine +/- 200 hrs community service (CS) and Costs of prosecution (COP)
[2-3 victims or death of an animal victim]: 1 yr in prison +/- $2,000 fine +/- 300 hrs CS and COP
[4-9 victims OR one prior offense]: 2 yrs in prison +/- $2,000 fine +/- 300 hrs CS and COP
[10 or more victims OR 2+ prior offenses]: 4 yrs in prison +/- $5,000 fine +/- 500 hrs CS and COP
3 exceptions to the 4 year limit:
killing or causing serious physical harm to law enforcement animal or search and rescue dog (5 years)
Fighting animal attacking without provocation and death resulting (15 years)
Inciting fighting animal resulting in death (Life Imprisonment).
California:
[1st offense (felony)] = 3 years in jail + $20,000
[2nd offense (felony)] = 3 years in prison + $20,000
[3rd or more] = case by case
Wisconsin:
the maximum penalty for a Class I Felony, which is a result of mutilation, disfigurement or death of an animal, is a maximum penalty of 3 ½ years in prison and/or up to $10,000 fine.
If the dog was a service dog, then the penalty is 6 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Ohio:
[1st offense = animal or damage worth $300 or more] = 1st degree Misdemeanor = 6 mths in jail and a $1,000 fine.
[2nd offense] = 5th degree Felony = 1 yr in prison + $2,500 fine.
Florida:
[Animal Death only] = 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
New York:
The maximum penalty is 4 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The exception in New York is if the animal is livestock or a farm animal, then the penalty is longer and harsher
Recidivism and Solutions
Hoarding Recidivism rate = 100%
Yet having an animal in one’s life is a privilege, not a right
Most states don't have bans
First Strike and You’re Out Law
California, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia.
Lawyers, animal cruelty investigators, forensic veterinarians, and educators that know about the field and can teach the world about this problem and its solutions.
Knowledge is power and this field needs more power behind it.

Conclusion
In conclusion, animal protection is a convoluted topic. Whether it is moral rights or legal rights, anybody could be an animal rights’ advocate or activist. The rich history of animal protection and rights has expanded into a growing field that has become a serious issue and controversy in today’s society. From New York to Florida to California, the laws are constantly changing and growing. Unfortunately, so are the statistics of animal abuse and neglect. By enacting harsher laws and educating people in the field, society can solve this problem and help animals everywhere.
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