Posted in Sportsmen's Alliance
Rhode Island state Rep. Arthur J. Corvese’s (D-North Providence) House Bill 5113 would create an animal abuser registry and ban anyone on it from owning animals. While these types of registries have long been a goal of the animal-rights movement, in actuality they would subject people to stringent penalties for even minor violations. House Bill 5113 passed the House with a vote of 55 to 16 and was sent to the Senate where it will be assigned to a committee.
Take Action Today! Rhode Island members should call their state senator and ask them to vote NO on HB 5113 unless it is fixed. Members can contact their state senator by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Directory.
HB 5113 would require a person to register as an animal abuser for any offense listed in the state’s animal and animal husbandry law. This section of law is extensive and includes both minor violations and major offenses. For instance, a person whose dog escapes and chases deer can be fined under this section of law, which would then place them on the animal abuse registry for 15 years for a first offense. A subsequent offense requires a lifetime listing on the registry. Anyone on the registry is banned from owning animals.
“A dog tethered outside for 16 minutes is an offense that could land you on the animal abuse registry,” said Bruce Tague, vice president of the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “A minor infraction during a kennel inspection can put you there too, and that’s not acceptable. While we greatly question the overall efficacy of a registration law like this, at a minimum they should at least differentiate between truly cruel acts that threaten the health and welfare of animals and minor infractions that can be easily corrected.”
Being listed as an animal abuser is the equivalent of a public shaming as well. Violators must register their addresses, date of birth and provide a photograph. The registry would be maintained by the attorney general’s office.
“This could actually endanger a family,” said Tague. “A person forced to register as an animal abuser for a minor offense could easily be targeted by extremists who would know where their family lives and what they look like.”
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