Georgia HB 863 Animal Anti-Cruelty bill PASSED 166 to 1!
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VOTE YES ON HB 863
Prosecuting Attorney’s Counsel of Georgia (PACGA)
drafted & supports this bill
Today, Monday, February 24, 2014, House Bill 863 will come to a vote on the floor of the Georgia House. HB 863 represents the best effort in over a decade to make substantial improvements to Georgia's Cruelty to Animals statute. These include:
· Providing for felony punishment for the deliberate torture of animals, even if the animal is not seriously injured;
· Providing for felony punishment for intentionally poisoning an animal;
· Specifically providing for felony punishment for the most serious neglect-type cases (heretofore, all neglect cases were treated as misdemeanors, even where the animal dies or is seriously injured as a result of the neglect);
· Penalties provisions increased for a second felony (1 – 10 year)
· Clarifying language within various parts of the statute to make it easier for law enforcement and animal control officers and prosecutors to establish what neglect-type behaviors constitute a violation;
· Closing a loophole in existing law which allows a person involved in a crime (say, a burglary) to injure or kill an animal (say, the family dog inside the house being burglarized that attacks the burglar) and still be justified in doing so; and
· Providing that, in order for a person to kill or injure an animal and claim "self-defense", the threat posed by the animal must be imminent and not a hypothetical or imagined threat which might possibly occur in the future.HB 863 is a carefully-crafted by line prosecutors and PACGA and is a conservative piece of legislation. It accomplishes the above goals while still providing protection for otherwise-legal activities involving animals such as hunting, fishing, trapping, agricultural and animal husbandry practices, medical and scientific research, and the like.