Veterinary Reporting of Animal Maltreatment Enacted in North Dakota & Washington, Introduced in Wisconsin

Escrito por NLC. Publicado en News in English.

North Dakota became the 49th state to enact felony-level provisions for animal  mistreatment when Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed SB 2211 into law on April 29. The bill  also requires veterinarians who have reasonable cause to believe an animal has been  neglected, abused or treated cruelly to immediately notify law enforcement.

The bill creates new categories for acts of animal maltreatment, differentiating between “neglect,”  “abandonment,” “abuse,” and “cruelty.” Abuse, defined as any act or omission resulting in physical  injury or death, will be a Class C felony for three or more convictions within 10 years. Cruelty, defined as  intentional breaking of bones, mutilation, torture, or prolonged impairment of health, is a class C felony.

Variousindustrial, agricultural and sport interactions with animals are exempted, as in most states. The new law also requires the State Board of Animal Health to provide law enforcement agencies with a  list of veterinarians trained to provide assistance in criminal investigations, and grants veterinarians  immunity from civil and criminal liability for rendering emergency treatment to sick or injured animals. South Dakota remains the only state lacking felony penalties for animal cruelty. 

Meanwhile, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed SB 5102 into law on May 15. The  new law grants veterinarians immunity from liability in any civil or criminal action  when reporting suspected animal cruelty to the proper authorities in good faith and  in the normal course of business.

Sen. RisserIn Wisconsin, Sen. Fred Risser (D – Madison)’s SB 199 would require veterinarians to  report all suspected animal mistreatment. Currently they are mandated to report only  animal fighting. Veterinarians reporting animal abuse in good faith would be immune  from civil liability. The bill has been referred to the Judiciary and Labor Committee.
“The mistreatment of animalsis a serious crime and is one which we can better address Sen. Fred Risser with the help of veterinarians. As experts in assessing injuries and ailments, veterinarians are invaluable  in identifying and protecting animals who have been subject to cruel treatment,” said Sen. Risser.
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