New laws on dogs, s/n, bestiality, factory farming

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2006:

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on May 31 signed three
bills into law which create a felony penalty for allowing dangerous
dogs to run loose or failing to keep them securely enclosed; also
create a felony penalty for failing to sterilize a dog defined as
dangerous by past behavior; add a felony penalty for failing to
follow orders pertaining to keeping a dangerous dog; allow civil
penalties for possession of dangerous dogs; prohibit convicted
felons from keeping dangerous dogs or any unsterilized dog; add
penalties for using dogs in the commission of crimes; increase the
penalties for attending dog fights; add a felony penalty for taking
children to dog fights; and ease the requirements for convicting a
person of illegal dog fighting.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine on May 26, 2006 signed into law
a bill that allows owners of a dog who causes serious bodily harm to
a person to be charged with a felony. The new law also creates a
misdemeanor penalty for keeping dogs who attack a person, imposes
security requirements for keeping dangerous dogs, and establishes a
registry of dangerous dogs. The bill was passed through the lobbying
efforts of the family of Dorothy Sullivan, 82, who was killed by a
neighbor’s pit bull terriers in March 2005. The neighbor, Deanna
Large, 37, is appealing a March 2006 conviction for involuntary
manslaughter, including a three-year prison sentence.

Vermont Governor James Douglas on May 26, 2006 endorsed into
law a bill allowing judges to issue protective orders covering the
pets of people who are trying to leave abusive relationships. Maine
Governor John Baldacci signed a similar bill into law earlier in 2006.

An Alabama law requiring shelters to sterilize dogs and cats
offered for adoption takes effect on July 1, 2006. Governor Bob
Riley signed the law on April 27, 2006.

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano on May 24, 2006 signed
into law a bill specificially prohibiting bestiality. The bill
replaces a law against committing an “infamous crime against nature”
which was repealed in 2001. The bill was introduced after Mesa
deputy fire chief Leroy Johnson, 52, was booked in March 2006 on
misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, trespassing and public
sexual indecency, but could not be charged with bestiality for
allegedly attempting intercourse with a neighbor’s lamb. Johnson
retired from the fire department after his arrest, Associated Press
reported.

The Rhode Island legislature on May 24, 2006 sent to
Governor Don Carcieri a bill which if signed into law would require
people who keep cats to have them sterilized by six months of age,
or obtain an intact animal permit costing $100. Violators would be
fined $75 a month. Three Rhode Island cities–East Providence,
Pawtucket, and Warwick–already have similar ordinances. Attemped
“breeding ban” legislation has historically failed either because
enforcement was unsustainable or because the legislation failed to
recognize that the right to breed animals was clearly among the
rights left “to the people” by the Ninth Amendment of the U.S.
Constitution. The Rhode Island legislation is believed to be
constitutional, since it recognizes a right to breed animals if a
person meets the permit requirements, but not clear is whether it
can be enforced against people who deny “owning” free-roaming cats.

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack on June 2, 2006 vetoed a part of a
budget bill that would have defined “canines from licensed
facilities” as a “farm product.” The practical effect of the bill
would have been to exempt commercial dog breeders from some sales
taxes, and to overturn some local zoning ordinances that have been
adopted to keep puppy mills out. Vilsack vetoed a similar bill in
2004. Earlier, on May 31, 2006, Vilsack vetoed a bill which
would have limited the ability of the state Department of Natural
Resources to deny licenses to confinement livestock facilities, or
to require them to follow prescribed manure management plans.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford on May 30, 2006 allowed
a bill stripping local governments of authority to regulate poultry
farms to become law without his signature. The bill is a boon to
the 1,107 egg farms, 426 broiler farms, and 331 turkey farms in
South Carolina, but impedes the ability of communities to keep
factory farms out.

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