Bill Text: VA HB27 | 2020 | Regular Session | Prefiled


Bill Title: Cruelty to animals; serious bodily injury, first offense, penalty.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-01-14 - Assigned ACNR sub: Agriculture [HB27 Detail]

Download: Virginia-2020-HB27-Prefiled.html
20100519D
HOUSE BILL NO. 27
Offered January 8, 2020
Prefiled November 19, 2019
A BILL to amend and reenact §3.2-6570 of the Code of Virginia, relating to animal cruelty; penalty.
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Patron-- Lindsey
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Committee Referral Pending
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §3.2-6570 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§3.2-6570. Cruelty to animals; penalty.

A. Any person who (i) overrides, overdrives, overloads, ill-treats, or abandons any animal, whether belonging to himself or another; (ii) tortures any animal, or willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation on any animal, or; (iii) cruelly or unnecessarily beats, maims, mutilates, or kills any animal, whether belonging to himself or another; (iii) deprives any animal of necessary food, drink, shelter, or emergency veterinary treatment; (iv) sores any equine for any purpose or administers drugs or medications to alter or mask such soring for the purpose of sale, show, or exhibition of any kind, unless such administration of drugs or medications is within the context of a veterinary client-patient relationship conducted under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and solely for therapeutic purposes; (v) ropes, lassoes, or otherwise obstructs or interferes with one or more legs of an equine in order to intentionally cause it to trip or fall for the purpose of engagement in a rodeo, contest, exhibition, entertainment, or sport unless such actions are in the practice of accepted animal husbandry or for the purpose of allowing veterinary care; (vi) willfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal; (vii) carries or causes to be carried by any vehicle, vessel or otherwise any animal in a cruel, brutal, or inhumane manner, so as to produce torture or unnecessary suffering; or (viii) causes any of the above things, or being the owner of such animal permits such acts an act to be done by another, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

In addition to the penalties provided in this subsection, the court may, in its discretion, require any person convicted of a violation of this subsection to attend an anger management or other appropriate treatment program or obtain psychiatric or psychological counseling. The court may impose the costs of such a program or counseling upon the person convicted.

B. Any person who deprives any animal of necessary food, drink, shelter, or emergency veterinary treatment, causes any such act, or being the owner of such animal permits such an act to be done by another, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. Any person who (i) tortures, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation, or cruelly and unnecessarily beats, maims, mutilates or kills any animal whether belonging to himself or another; (ii) sores any equine for any purpose or administers drugs or medications to alter or mask such soring for the purpose of sale, show, or exhibit of any kind, unless such administration of drugs or medications is under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and solely for therapeutic purposes; (iii) ropes, lassoes, or otherwise obstructs or interferes with one or more legs of an equine in order to intentionally cause it to trip or fall for the purpose of engagement in a rodeo, contest, exhibition, entertainment, or sport unless such actions are in the practice of accepted animal husbandry or for the purpose of allowing veterinary care; (iv) maliciously deprives any companion animal of necessary food, drink, shelter, or emergency veterinary treatment; (v) instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any such act of cruelty to any animal set forth in clauses (i) through (iv); or (vi); causes any of the actions described in clauses (i) through (v), such act; or being the owner of such animal permits such acts an act to be done by another; and has been within five years convicted of a violation of this subsection or or (ii) violates any provision of subsection A, is guilty of a Class 6 felony if the current violation or any previous violation of this subsection or subsection A resulted in serious bodily injury to an animal, the death of an animal, or the euthanasia of an animal based on the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian upon determination that such euthanasia was necessary due to the condition of the animal, and such condition was a direct result of a violation of this subsection clause (i) or subsection A.

C. D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the dehorning of cattle conducted in a reasonable and customary manner.

D. This section shall not prohibit authorized wildlife management activities or hunting, fishing, or trapping as regulated under other titles of the Code of Virginia, including Title 29.1, or to farming activities as provided under this title or regulations adopted hereunder.

E. It is unlawful for any person to kill a domestic dog or cat for the purpose of obtaining the hide, fur or pelt of the dog or cat. A violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony.

F. Any person who (i) tortures, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation on, or cruelly and unnecessarily beats, maims, or mutilates any dog or cat that is a companion animal whether belonging to him or another and (ii) as a direct result causes serious bodily injury to such dog or cat that is a companion animal, the death of such dog or cat that is a companion animal, or the euthanasia of such animal on the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian upon determination that such euthanasia was necessary due to the condition of the animal is guilty of a Class 6 felony. If a dog or cat is attacked on its owner's property by a dog so as to cause injury or death, the owner of the injured dog or cat may use all reasonable and necessary force against the dog at the time of the attack to protect his dog or cat. Such owner may be presumed to have taken necessary and appropriate action to defend his dog or cat and shall therefore be presumed not to have violated this subsection. The provisions of this subsection shall not overrule §3.2-6540, 3.2-6540.1, or 3.2-6552.

G. For the purposes of this subsection section, "serious bodily injury" means bodily injury that involves substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.

G. H. Any person convicted of violating this section may be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals.

I. In addition to the penalties provided in this section, the court may require any person convicted of a violation of this section to attend an anger management or other appropriate treatment program or obtain psychiatric or psychological counseling. The court may impose the costs of such a program or counseling upon the person convicted.

2. That the provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment. Pursuant to §30-19.1:4 of the Code of Virginia, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities; therefore, Chapter 854 of the Acts of Assembly of 2019 requires the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to assign a minimum fiscal impact of $50,000. Pursuant to §30-19.1:4 of the Code of Virginia, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

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