PA 16-96—sHB 5147

Environment Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT INCREASING THE MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES OF MALICIOUS AND INTENTIONAL ANIMAL CRUELTY

SUMMARY: This act increases the penalty for a subsequent offense of malicious and intentional animal cruelty (i. e. , maliciously or intentionally maiming, mutilating, torturing, wounding, or killing an animal) by classifying it as a class C felony, instead of a class D felony (see Table on Penalties). Under existing law, unchanged by the act, a first offense remains a class D felony. Specified people are exempt from this crime (see BACKGROUND).

By law, the first violation of certain other animal cruelty offenses, including failing to provide animals with proper care, food, and water, is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. A subsequent offense is a class D felony (CGS 53-247(a)).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

BACKGROUND

Exemptions from Malicious and Intentional Animal Cruelty

The law exempts from the malicious and intentional animal cruelty statute, anyone who is:

1. a licensed veterinarian following accepted standards of practice;

2. following statutorily approved slaughter methods;

3. performing medical research as an employee, student, or person associated with a hospital, educational institution, or laboratory;

4. following generally accepted agricultural practices; or

5. lawfully taking wildlife (CGS 53-247(b)).

OLR Tracking: JKL; RP; PF; bs