Suffer the animals | Arkansas Blog

Suffer the animals

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The Senate today passed Sue Madison's bill, SB 777, to stiffen penalties for mistreatment of dogs, cats and horses by making it a felony. The vote was 21-5.

The Hall of Shame:

Nos -- Altes, Bisbee, Hendren Malone, J. Taylor

Not voting -- Baker, Bookout, Faris, Horn, G. Jeffrees, B. Johnson, B. Pritchard, Trusty, Wilkinson

Lots of shame over in the House today, however. It passed the Farm Bureau's version of this bill, 57-26, to keep terrible mistreatment of a domestic animal as a misdemeanor, unless you do it a second time, and then only within five years of the first violation. One free wanton dog- or cat-torturing is yours, in other words. Here's the roll call.on HB 2788.

SMALL UPDATE: On balance, I don't feel good about the House on the "good" bill. As Theodosius notes, the roll call on the Saunders bill likely includes a variety of outlooks on the issue and isn't a predicter. What's worse, the good bill from the Senate has been assigned to the Agriculture Committee, according to the last website update. If that holds, it's probably not a good thing. The Farm Bureau generally controls there.

Maybe this is a tradeoff by Speaker Petrus. The animal rights people get deep-sixed in Agriculture. But maybe the gay adoption bill will go to House Judiciary, where there's a fighting chance for progressives that it will be defeated, unlike in some other committees. I have a message in to the speaker on the point. Sen. Gil Baker supposedly said today that the bill was going to move over to the House and no further efforts would be made to attach the emergency clause.

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