Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed this amendment into law on May 17, 2010 making it a second-degree felony for any person to willfully and unlawfully, by any means whatsoever, kill, maim, mutilate, or cause great bodily harm or permanent breeding disability to any animal of the genus Equus (horse). Any person who commits a violation of this subsection shall be sentenced to a minimum mandatory fine of $3,500 and a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 1 year.
Any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding:
(1) Any person who willfully and unlawfully, by any means whatsoever, kills, maims, mutilates, or causes great bodily harm or permanent breeding disability to any animal of the genus Equus (horse) or any animal of any registered breed or recognized registered hybrid of the genus Bos (cattle) commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided by s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, except that any person who commits a violation of this subsection shall be sentenced to a minimum mandatory fine of $3,500 and a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 1 year.
(2) Any person who individually attempts or solicits, or jointly agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates with another person to commit, any act prohibited by subsection (1) and does an act in furtherance of said attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree and is punishable as if the person or persons had actually committed such prohibited act as enumerated in subsection (1), notwithstanding any provisions found in s. 777.04. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit separate convictions and sentences for a violation of this subsection and any violation of subsection (1).
(3) Any person who verbally or in writing threatens to commit any act prohibited by subsection (1) and has the apparent ability to carry out such threat and places the owner or custodian of said animal in fear that such an act as described in subsection (1) is about to take place shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided by s. 775.082, s. 775.083 or s. 775.084.
(4) In addition to any other fines or penalties authorized by law, a person found guilty of violating any provision of subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3) may be ordered by the court to make restitution to the aggrieved party in an amount not to exceed twice the gross fair market value of the said Equus or Bos killed or abused in an aggravated manner, or up to twice the gross loss caused, whichever is greater, plus attorney's fees and any and all related costs. Upon notice the court shall hold a hearing to determine the amount of fines, restitution, or costs to be imposed under this section, if not agreed upon by the parties.
(5) This section shall not be construed to abridge, impede, prohibit, or otherwise interfere in any way with the application, implementation, or conduct of recognized livestock husbandry practices or techniques by or at the direction of the owner of the livestock so husbanded; nor shall any person be held culpable for any act prohibited by this chapter which results from weather conditions or other acts of God, providing that the person is in compliance with recognized livestock husbandry practices.
Laws 1986, c. 86-14, § 1; Laws 1991, c. 91-110, § 42. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-391, § 28, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2010, c. 2010-87, § 5, eff. Oct. 1, 2010.