BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA) is backing a bill that aims to create the state’s first animal abuser registry and to ban a person convicted of animal abuse from owning another animal in the future.
House Bill 161, authored by Rep. Robby Carter, D-Amite, will go before a House committee Wednesday, May 15. HSLA says the database and stricter punishment for offenders will help statewide agencies that aim to fight animal abuse and cruelty.
“Getting this bill passed would be a major win for the State of Louisiana. The HSLA has several reasons for being in favor of HB161, including the state’s first central registry for animal abusers, plus it would prohibit the ownership of animals by anyone convicted of simple or aggravated or other animal abuse activities for up to 10 years and up to life for a second conviction,” said HSLA Director Jeff Dorson.
The bill would require animal abuse offenders to register with the Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) seven days after either their date of judgement or date of release from prison, with stricter penalties levied for failure to register. A convicted offender would have to comply with the restrictions laid out in the bill for ten years from the initial registration date for a first offense and for the offender’s life for a subsequent offense. The bill also carries up to a $25,000 fine plus jail time for no less than a year and no more than ten years for second animal abuse offenses and jail time of up to life for subsequent offenses.