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Georgia

West's Code of Georgia Annotated. Title 4. Animals. Chapter 11. Animal Protection. Article 2. Georgia Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: GA ST 4-11-30 to 35

Citation: Ga. Code Ann., 4-11-30 to 35


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 12/2013

Summary:   This article is known as the Georgia Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act. A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person acquires or otherwise exercises control over an animal facility, an animal from an animal facility, or other property from an animal facility with the intent to deprive the owner of such facility, animal, or property and to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility. Other prohibited actions also include gaining entry where a person knows entry is forbidden. In the definition of "consent," the act states that the term does not include assent that is induced by force, threat, false pretenses or fraud. It also excludes assent given by a person that the actor knows is not authorized by the owner, or given by a person who the actor knows is unable to make reasonable decisions (e.g., because of youth, intoxication, or mental disease or defect). Violations that involve exercising control over a facility are felonies; those that involve illegal entry or damage less than $500 are misdemeanors.


Statute in Full:

§ 4-11-30. Short title

§ 4-11-31. Definitions

§ 4-11-32. Offenses relating to animals and animal facilities and to crops and crop facilities; exemptions

§ 4-11-33. Violations

§ 4-11-34. Enforcement of law

§ 4-11-35. Damages, court costs, and attorneys' fees; injunctions and restraining orders

 

 

§ 4-11-30. Short title

This article shall be known and may be cited as the “Georgia Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act.”

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1990, p. 328, § 1; Laws 2001, p. 888, § 1.

 

§ 4-11-31. Definitions

As used in this article, the term:

(1) “Actor” means a person accused of any of the offenses defined in Code Section 4-11-32.

(2) “Animal” means any warm or cold-blooded animal or insect which is being used in food or fiber production, agriculture, research, testing, or education, including, but not limited to, hogs, equines, mules, cattle, sheep, ratites, goats, dogs, rabbits, poultry, fish, and bees. The term “animal” shall not include any animal held primarily as a pet.

(3) “Animal facility” includes any vehicle, building, structure, pasture, paddock, pond, impoundment, or premises where an animal is kept, handled, housed, exhibited, bred, or offered for sale and any office, building, or structure where records or documents relating to an animal or to animal research, testing, production, or education are maintained.

(4) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture.

(5) “Consent” means assent in fact, whether express or implied, by the owner or by a person legally authorized to act for the owner which is not:

(A) Induced by force, threat, false pretenses, or fraud;

(B) Given by a person the actor knows, or should have known, is not legally authorized to act for the owner;

(C) Given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication is known, or should have been known, by the actor to be unable to make reasonable decisions; or

(D) Given solely to detect the commission of an offense.

(5.1) “Crop” shall mean any crops as defined in Code Section 1-3-3.

(5.2) “Crop facility” means any field, building, greenhouse, structure, or premises where crops are grown or offered for sale and any office, building, or structure where records, documents, or electronic data relating to crops or crop research, testing, production, or education are maintained.

(6) “Deprive” means unlawfully to withhold from the owner, interfere with the possession of, free, or dispose of an animal or other property.

(7) “Owner” means a person who has title to the property, lawful possession of the property, or a greater right to possession of the property than the actor.

(8) “Person” means any individual, corporation, association, nonprofit corporation, joint-stock company, firm, trust, partnership, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or other legal entity.

(9) “Possession” means actual care, custody, control, or management.

(10) “Property” means any real or personal property and shall include any document, record, research data, paper, or computer storage medium.

(11) “State” means the State of Georgia.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1990, p. 328, § 1; Laws 1995, p. 244, § 9; Laws 2001, p. 888, § 2.

 

§ 4-11-32. Offenses relating to animals and animal facilities and to crops and crop facilities; exemptions

(a)(1) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person acquires or otherwise exercises control over an animal facility, an animal from an animal facility, or other property from an animal facility with the intent to deprive the owner of such facility, animal, or property and to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility.

(2) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person acquires or otherwise exercises control over a crop facility, a crop from a crop facility, or other property from a crop facility with the intent to deprive the owner of such facility, crop, or property and to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the crop facility.

(b)(1) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person damages or destroys an animal facility or damages, frees, or destroys any animal or property in or on an animal facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility and the damage or loss thereto exceeds $ 500.00.

(2) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person damages or destroys a crop facility or damages or destroys any crop or property in or on a crop facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the crop facility and the damage or loss thereto exceeds $ 500.00.

(c)(1) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person damages or destroys an animal facility or damages, frees, or destroys any animal or property in or on an animal facility and the damage or loss thereto is $ 500.00 or less or enters or remains on an animal facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility, and the person:

(A) Had notice that the entry was forbidden;

(B) Knew or should have known that the animal facility was or had closed to the public; or

(C) Received notice to depart but failed to do so.

(2) For purposes of this subsection “notice” means:

(A) Oral or written communication by the owner or someone with actual or apparent authority to act for the owner;

(B) The presence of fencing or other type of enclosure or barrier designed to exclude intruders or to contain animals; or

(C) A sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden.

(c.1)(1) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person damages or destroys a crop facility or damages or destroys any crop or property in or on a crop facility and the damage or loss thereto is $ 500.00 or less or enters or remains on a crop facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the crop facility, and the person:

(A) Had notice that the entry was forbidden;

(B) Knew or should have known that the crop facility was or had closed to the public; or

(C) Received notice to depart but failed to do so.

(2) For purposes of this subsection “notice” means:

(A) Oral or written communication by the owner or someone with actual or apparent authority to act for the owner; or

(B) A sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden.

(d) This Code section shall not apply to, affect, or otherwise prohibit actions taken by the Department of Agriculture, any other federal, state, or local department or agency, or any official, employee, or agent thereof while in the exercise or performance of any power or duty imposed by law or by rule and regulation.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1990, p. 328, § 1; Laws 2001, p. 888, § 3.

 

§ 4-11-33. Violations

(a) A person convicted of any of the offenses defined in subsections (a) and (b) of Code Section 4-11-32 shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $ 10,000.00 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed three years, or both.

(b) Any person violating subsection (c) or (c.1) of Code Section 4-11-32 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1990, p. 328, § 1; Laws 2001, p. 888, § 4.

 

§ 4-11-34. Enforcement of law

For purposes of enforcing the provisions of this article, the Commissioner:

(1) May investigate any offense under this article;

(2) May seek the assistance of any law enforcement agency of the United States, the state, or any local government in the conduct of such investigations; and

(3) Shall coordinate such investigation, to the maximum extent practicable, with the investigations of any law enforcement agency of the United States, the state, or any local government.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1990, p. 328, § 1.

 

§ 4-11-35. Damages, court costs, and attorneys' fees; injunctions and restraining orders

(a) Any person who has been damaged by reason of a violation of this article may recover all actual and consequential damages, punitive damages, and court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, from the person causing such damage.

(b) In addition to the remedies provided in this article or elsewhere in the laws of this state and notwithstanding the existence of an adequate remedy at law, any person who has been damaged by reason of a violation of this article is authorized to apply to the superior courts for an injunction or restraining order. Such courts shall have jurisdiction and for good cause shown shall grant a temporary or permanent injunction or a temporary restraining order restraining or enjoining any person from violating or continuing to violate this article. Such injunction or restraining order shall be issued without bond and may be granted notwithstanding the fact that the violation constitutes a criminal act and notwithstanding the pendency of any criminal prosecution for the same violation.

(c) Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit the exercise of any other rights arising out of or relating to a violation of this article.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1990, p. 328, § 1.

 

 



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