Relates to the unlawful tampering of farm animals.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to unlawful tampering with farm animals
PURPOSE: To establish the crime of unlawful tampering with a farm animal, similar to the crime of unlawful tampering with an animal
SUMMARY: Section 1 establishes a new section 378-a of the agriculture and markets law, which provides definitions and prohibits unlawful tampering at animal research facilities.
Section 2 provides for the immediate enactment of the act.
JUSTIFICATION: New York's family farms have become increasingly concerned with the focus on livestock agriculture. While working with the Departments of Homeland Security as well as local law enforcement, it has become clear from several recent instances of animal and facility tampering (the unlawful injection of cattle with antibiotics in Western New York, and the increasing theft of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer, utilized by meth addicts to make illegal substances) that the tools for law enforcement and for farmers to help secure their premises are not always accurate. The Department of Homeland Security, working with the FDA and others, have indicated that farmers need to be more aware of where there security weaknesses are, and to work on improving means to discourage trespass and tampering which may weaken the safety of our food supply.
Due to the confluence of these factors, a new section of the agriculture and markets law is created to establish the crime of unlawful tampering with a farm animal, similar to the crime of unlawful tampering with an animal research facility in existing law. Nothing in this legislation would interfere, impede, or condone in any way any lawful investigation or enforcement action by the appropriate authorities.
HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPACT: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5172 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 3, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. RITCHIE -- 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 unlawful tampering with farm animals THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 378-a to read as follows: S 378-A. UNLAWFUL TAMPERING WITH FARM ANIMALS. 1. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOW- ING MEANINGS: (A) "FARM ANIMAL" MEANS ANY WARM OR COLD BLOODED ANIMAL WHICH IS BEING USED IN THE PRODUCTION OF FOOD OR FIBER FOR AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES. (B) "FARM" MEANS ANY BUILDING, STRUCTURE, VEHICLE, PASTURE, PADDOCK, POND, IMPOUNDMENT AREA, LAND OR PROPERTY UPON WHICH FARM ANIMALS ARE HOUSED, CARED FOR, GRAZED OR BRED. (C) "RELEASE" MEANS TO INTENTIONALLY SET FREE FROM ANY FARM ANY FARM ANIMAL WITHOUT ANY RIGHT, TITLE, OR CLAIM THERETO. (D) "PERSON" MEANS ANY INDIVIDUAL, FIRM, ORGANIZATION, PARTNERSHIP, ASSOCIATION OR CORPORATION, INCLUDING EMPLOYEES OF THE FARM. (E) "NOTICE" MEANS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION AND DISCLOSURE, THROUGH POSTING AT A CENTRALIZED LOCATION ON THE FARM, THROUGH NOTICE IN WRITING OR ORALLY TO THE PERSON, OR PROMINENTLY POSTING SUCH NOTICE UPON OR IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO THE ENTRY TO THE FARM. (F) "UNLAWFUL TAMPERING" MEANS ANY INTERFERENCE WITH A FARM ANIMAL OR FARM THROUGH THE INJECTION OF ANY UNAUTHORIZED SUBSTANCE, THE RELEASE OF A FARM ANIMAL, THE UNAUTHORIZED FEEDING OR UNAUTHORIZED VIDEO, AUDIO RECORDING OR PHOTOGRAPHY DONE WITHOUT THE FARM OWNER'S WRITTEN CONSENT. 2. ANY PERSON WHO, AFTER NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN THAT THE FARM PROHIBITS UNLAWFUL TAMPERING, KNOWINGLY OR INTENTIONALLY DOES SUCH IS GUILTY OF UNLAWFUL TAMPERING WITH A FARM ANIMAL, A MISDEMEANOR PUNISHABLE BY AEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11282-01-1 S. 5172 2
TERM OF IMPRISONMENT FOR UP TO ONE YEAR OR A FINE OF UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. 3. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE LIABLE IN ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION, INCLUDING SMALL CLAIMS COURT, IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE DAMAGES SUSTAINED AS A RESULT OF SUCH VIOLATION, INCLUDING ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS, VETERINARIAN'S FEES AND COSTS, AND THE COST OF PURCHASING A REPLACEMENT FARM ANIMAL IF APPLICA- BLE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.