“Its about time every State & Country had & followed the same set of rules & laws for anyone who committed animal abuse…Animal abuse is abuse; irrespective of where it was committed or which animal was abused…It’s wrong, all animals should be protected. They could make a start with getting Animal Abuse Registry’s into place!!!”

By Tony Mangan/Guest opinion

The actions of the Idaho Legislature will soon impact every voter in our state. You may ask: “How is this possible?” You will find the answer through the disappointing tale which follows.

In June of 2011 a newly formed organization, Idaho 1 of 3, was formed. The group’s purpose was to bring to the attention of the citizens of our state the fact that we are one of three states in the Union which does not have serious penalties for animal abuse. Having grown up in a country of strong-minded responsible people, we knew that if you simply pointed out a problem without offering a solution, it would be determined that you were just whining. Having brought our solution to the Legislature before forming Idaho 1 of 3, and having had it dismissed out of hand, we decided to attempt to gather enough signatures from the voting public to have our solution placed on the 2012 ballot. Rescue groups, animal hospitals, pet shops and individuals rallied to the cause, and enthusiastically began to gather signatures. The early stages of the process were stunning in our realization that most citizens had no idea that animal abuse is merely a misdemeanor in Idaho; that law enforcement does not care to pursue those issues; and that prosecutors do everything they can to avoid prosecuting any case.

 The process of gathering signatures is among the single most difficult things a group can undertake. As an example, we often found that a page containing 20 signatures would yield as few as seven acceptable signatures. Most were rejected because the address of the voter was not identical to the address under which they had first registered, even though they were no doubt living in the same voting district. Another equally picayune reason was because someone put a date on the zip code line. Everything a controlling Legislature could do to prevent voters from having any influence of directing the bureaucracy in forming reasonable laws, was placed in our path and for that matter in the path of any group of average volunteers trying to steer the ship.

The Legislature invited the Cattlemen‘s and Wool Growers’ Associations to give their input in order to form made-to-order “new laws with felony penalties.” The result was that Sen. Steve Vick and others on the Agriculture Committee created a completely toothless bill, and put it on the fast track to become law. Suffice it to say that the Bill S1303 in reality is worse than the existing weak misdemeanor laws. Among the things that went into this bill to which the House members were complicit, was to eliminate all stock animals kept by their owners as pets from it. Consequently, the abuse of horses, llamas, goats, alpacas etc., would not be included under the new abuse law. What the bill refers to as “companion animals” would fall under the toothless law, but since it includes the word “felony,” the Legislature can claim success at “changing the law,” even though there are no mandatory fines or penalties. The magic word “felony” will likely never be used or considered since no known case has been tried in the past several years.

Read the rest of this post here:-CDApress.com Abuse Laws