Elected officials in Colorado and Virginia want to weaken animal-welfare laws

We are seeing some states moving closer to passing better laws to protect animals from abuse and send abusers to prison. But two stories linked below offer a reminder that some legislators and the entities that guide their actions with donations want to gut protections for animals.

In Virginia, two bills have been introduced that Change.org is reporting will lower care standards for farm animals, including horses.

Delegate Robert Orrock is quoted as stating farm animals “aren’t entitled to the same luxuries as dogs and cats.” So the The bill would reduce charges of animal cruelty to a class 4 misdemeanor, for abuse of farm animals and horses.

Here again, we have a few uniformed people who want to make sure people who abuse animals get off easy. Change.org is reporting two groups are supporting the bill – Farm Bureau and Virginia Veterinary Medical Association. No surprise for the Farm Bureau, but how is that any veterinary medical association would support legislation to minimize punishment for abusing animals.

In fact, this is counter to the newly revised veterinary oath, where vets pledge to support animal welfare. The Virginia Veterinary Medical Association is breaking that oath.

From the article –

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The bill would allow owners to provide food only to prevent malnourishment, and water to prevent dehydration. The law would not protect animals from becoming dangerously close to either ailment.

Vet care would only be required to “address impairment of health or bodily function when such impairment cannot be otherwise addressed through animal husbandry, including humane destruction.”

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In Colorado, 9News.com is reporting rancher Rep. Wes McKinley (D-Walsh) thinks some animal cruelty cases just aren’t so bad and should not be investigated.

He wants to cut out of the picture animal abuse investigators who don’t work for the state. This means the budget-strapped state agencies would be left to handle all abuse cases. They are getting a great of deal of help now from the private groups and through the private funding these groups use.

So in reality, this is move to make sure far fewer cases of cruelty are investigated, so that far more people can get away with abusing animals.

Hopefully, we’ll soon hear that both of these bills have been dumped and the papers they are printed on have been placed in the recycling bin. And then I hope we’ll soon hear that compassionate legislators have introduced bills to increase the penalties for animal cruelty.

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