Michigan

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MI - Cruelty - Legislative Analysis

This document is the legislative analysis for House Bills 4551 and 4552. The bills (now law) amend the penal laws (MCL 750.50) to revise the penalties for harming animals and allow for consecutive sentencing.  Both bills would exempt veterinarians and veterinarian technicians from the prohibitions and penalties when lawfully engaging in the practice of veterinarian medicine. Under the new law, a court could order a term of imprisonment imposed for a violation prohibited under the bills to be served consecutively to a term of imprisonment imposed for any other crime including any other violation of law arising out of the same transaction. 

MI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes (MCL 750.49 - 70)


The Michigan Legislature has designed three primary provisions related to cruelty to animals: intentional infliction of pain and suffering, duty to provide care, and anti-animal fighting.  The intentional infliction of pain and suffering provision carries the most severe penalties for animal cruelty and a violation is automatically a felony.  A violation of the duty to provide care provision is initially a misdemeanor, which becomes a felony for a second or subsequent violation.  A violation of the anti-animal fighting provision is either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of conduct related to fighting.  The provision does not apply to the lawful killing of livestock or customary animal husbandry of livestock, or lawful fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife control, pest or rodent control, and animal research.

MI - Cruelty - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. The Michigan Penal Code.


This law was amended in late 2008 to clearly define killing or torturing an animal as a general intent crime (the terms "willfully" and "maliciously" were changed to "knowingly"). Under the statute, violation is an automatic felony punishable by a prison term of up to four years for knowingly killing, torturing, mutilating, maiming, poisoning any animal "without just cause." That phrase was added to exclude negligent conduct such as hitting a deer on the road.  In addition, commission of  a reckless act knowing or having reason to know that the act will cause an animal to be killed, tortured, mutilated, maimed, or disfigured also falls under the statute. Among the exclusions are hunting, fishing, trapping, livestock husbandry, and scientific research.

MI - Cruelty - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code. The Michigan Penal Code.


Note: Repealed by P.A.2015, No. 210, § 1(f), Eff. March 14, 2016. This statute provides that it is the duty of the officials involved in animal cruelty investigations to arrest and prosecute those committing the offenses where there is knowledge or reasonable notice of the acts.  The failure or neglect by an officer involved to do so may result in a misdemeanor.

MI - Cruelty - 712A.18l. Juveniles, guilty of cruelty to animals or arson; court ordered psychiatric or psychological treatment


This statute provides that if a juvenile is found to be within the court's jurisdiction for an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be a violation of the Michigan penal code relating to either cruelty to animals or arson, the court shall order that the juvenile be evaluated to determine if he or she needs psychiatric or psychological treatment. If the court determines that psychiatric or psychological treatment is appropriate, the court may order that treatment in addition to any other treatments or penalties allowed by law.

MI - Cruelty - Chapter 750. Michigan Penal Code.


This Michigan law provides that no railroad company shall permit the confinement of animals in railroad cars for longer than 36 consecutive hours without unloading for rest, water, and feeding of at least 5 consecutive hours unless prevented by a storm, or other "accidental causes." Any company, owner or custodian of such animals, who does not comply with the provisions of this section, can be fined between $100 and $500 for each and every such offense. However, when animals are carried in cars where they have proper food, water, space and opportunity for rest, the provisions of this section that require unloading do not apply.

MI - Constitutional Provisions - § 5. State lands


This section describes the State legislature's authority over all state land and the requirement that all departments that have supervision or control of any state land submit an annual report as to the status of such land to the legislature .

MI - Constitutional Provisions - Protection of Natural Resources


This section declares the protection, conservation, and development of the state's natural resources to be of paramount public concern and the legislature shall provide for the protection of the air, water and other natural resources of the state from pollution, impairment and destruction.

MI - Constitutional Provisions - Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund


The trust fund consists of all bonuses, rentals and royalties collected or reserved by the state under provisions of leases for the extraction of nonrenewable resources from state owned lands.

MI - Biological Diversity - Chapter 324. Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.


These Sections describe the State's desire to conserve biological diversity as well as the State's strategy and considerations in achieving this goal. These sections also create the joint legislative working committee on biological diversity.

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