Bill S3451-2015

Increases the penalty for multiple convictions of torturing or failing to provide sustenance to an animal

Increases the penalty for multiple convictions of torturing, killing or failing to provide sustenance to an animal to a felony, if convicted within five years from the date of a prior conviction.

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  • Feb 9, 2015: REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE

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BILL NUMBER:S3451

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to increasing the penalty for multiple convictions of torturing or failing to provide sustenance to an animal

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To prevent animal abuse by raising the penalty for subsequent acts of cruelty which occur within five years of a conviction of this section to an E felony when such cruelty is perpetrated against an animal

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one amends the opening paragraph of section three hundred fifty-three of the agriculture and markets law by adding language that would make any violation of this section within five years from the date of a prior conviction of any violation of this section a felony. A defendant convicted of this offense shall be sentenced pursuant to paragraph b of subdivision one of section 55.10 of the penal law, provided, however, that any term of imprisonment imposed for a violation of this section shall be a definite sentence, which may not exceed two years.

Section two defines the effective date as the first of December following the enactment date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Preventing those who abuse animals from committing similar acts in the future is one of the purposes of New York's cruelty laws. Raising the penalty to a felony for subsequent acts of cruelty that occur within five years of a conviction will help law enforcement curb such activities and allow for the imposition of lengthier periods of court supervision or imprisonment, as deemed appropriate. Moreover, cruelty toward animals has been linked to future violence toward human victims, particularly vulnerable people such as domestic partners and children. Treating repeat offenses of animal cruelty as felonies is consonant with the goal of preventing future violence toward human and animal victims.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

S.1853 referred to Agriculture in 2011 and 2012. S.4963-A referred to Agriculture in 2009 and 2010.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

The first of December following the date of enactment.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3451 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 9, 2015 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MURPHY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to increas- ing the penalty for multiple convictions of torturing or failing to provide sustenance to an animal THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 353 of the agriculture and markets law, as amended by chapter 458 of the laws of 1985 and the opening paragraph as amended by chapter 523 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: S 353. Overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance. 1. A person who overdrives, overloads, tortures or cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates or kills any animal, whether wild or tame, and whether belonging to himself or to another, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, or neglects or refuses to furnish it such sustenance or drink, or caus- es, procures or permits any animal to be overdriven, overloaded, tortured, cruelly beaten, or unjustifiably injured, maimed, mutilated or killed, or to be deprived of necessary food or drink, or who wilfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal, or any act tending to produce such cruelty, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor and for purposes of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section 160.10 of the criminal procedure law, shall be treated as a misdemeanor defined in the penal law. 2. A SECOND VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION WITHIN FIVE YEARS FROM THE DATE OF A PRIOR CONVICTION OF ANY VIOLATION OF SUBDIVI- SION ONE OF THIS SECTION, SHALL BE A FELONY. A DEFENDANT CONVICTED OF THIS OFFENSE SHALL BE SENTENCED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 55.10 OF THE PENAL LAW PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT ANY TERM OF IMPRISONMENT IMPOSED FOR A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE A DEFI- NITE SENTENCE, WHICH MAY NOT EXCEED TWO YEARS.
3. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prohibit or inter- fere with any properly conducted scientific tests, experiments or inves- tigations, involving the use of living animals, performed or conducted in laboratories or institutions, which are approved for these purposes by the state commissioner of health. The state commissioner of health shall prescribe the rules under which such approvals shall be granted, including therein standards regarding the care and treatment of any such animals. Such rules shall be published and copies thereof conspicuously posted in each such laboratory or institution. The state commissioner of health or his duly authorized representative shall have the power to inspect such laboratories or institutions to insure compliance with such rules and standards. Each such approval may be revoked at any time for failure to comply with such rules and in any case the approval shall be limited to a period not exceeding one year. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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