Update – Bill to protect animal abusers pulled in Virginia

Thankfully, a bill that had been introduced in the Virginia state house that would benefit criminals and cut protections for abused animals has been pulled by the bill sponsor, as reported by Kristin Bissell of the Chesapeake Animal Welfare Examiner.

HB 2482 included provisions to allow accused abusers to keep their companion animals until the case is heard, allow those CONVICTED of abuse to keep their companion animals for at least 90 days AFTER a court has ordered them to give up their animals, repeal current regulations that allow for those convicted to be banned from having or selling or trading companion animals again and eliminate a requirement that those convicted pay for the care of the animals they have abused.

So it’s very clear where these proposals were going. But it is also important to note, as reported by Bissell, who supported this bill –

“” The bill was supported by the Virginia Hunting Dog Association (“VaHDA requested this bill,” “strongly supports”), Federation of Dog Breeders as well as other organizations representing commercial breeders and dealers. The sentiment behind the bill was that animal laws were being over-exercised and owners’ rights needed protection. “”

So a group of commercial breeders and dealers and this Virginia Hunting Dog Association believe people who abuse animals should be protected. This bill only addressed animals abusers or those accused of abusing animals. So it’s clear the move was to gut protections for dogs housed in puppy mills and other facilities that are abusing animals.

The hunting group and the breeders who supported this do not want harm to come to breeders for abusing their dogs. But thankfully, compassion won out in this case.

Bissell notes in her blog entry that Governor McDonnell appreciated the bill being pulled, “as he is a strong proponent of strict animal law enforcement.”

And then she offered this important advice – “” The tabling of House BIll 2482 can be viewed as a small victory for animal advocates and also an indication of the power of the constituency. However, it also highlights the need for the constituency to be vigilant, informed and willing to speak out. Unfortunately, HB2482 will surely not be the final attempt to scale back animal protection laws. “”

Well said. Animal welfare advocates do indeed need to be vigilant, informed and willing to speak out. The other side is united, through various organizations. But on the plus side, I believe animal lovers might very well be the largest constituency in the nation. We just need to keep spreading the word and keep the general public informed.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Noreen Marshall on January 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

    THANK GOD this Bill was pulled!!!! The Virginia State House should be making tougher laws and harsher punishments for animal abusers – not letting them get less punishment. If people don’t speak up for animals abuse will only increase. I cannot imagine what the “Hell” The Virginia State House was thinking when they put this Bill in to lessen punishment for animal abusers, they had to be insane to even comsdier doing something like that!!!!


    • Posted by Tom Grady on January 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      I just can’t imagine how anyone could be for the provisions in that bill. Maybe people who consider animals to be worthy of no more protection from abuse than an old toaster might be for this, I guess.


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