Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law new legislation that requires animal welfare investigators who have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being abused, neglected or in danger to make a report to the State Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The new law likewise mandates DCFS investigators to immediately report suspected animal abuse or neglect to the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare.
Illinois House Bill 562, sponsored by Sen. Don Harmon and Rep. Susana Mendoza, amends the state’s Humane Care for Animals Act and the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. The measure also provides for confidentiality and immunity for persons, institutions and agencies making such reports in good faith.
Illinois joins West Virginia as the only states where child protection and animal welfare workers are mandated to cross-report. Several states mandate one group or give these employees permission to cross-report without mandating it.