Anti-Cruelty: Related Statutes
|Statute by category
|UK - Animal Welfare - Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021
|This Act increased the period that judges may impose prison sentences on those that breach the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (applicable in England and Wales). The Act came into force on 29 June 2021. Imprisonment has increased to 5 years (and/or an unlimited fine) for certain offences where a defendant is convicted on indictment at the Crown Court. This includes the offences of unnecessary suffering and dog fighting. Imprisonment on summary conviction for these offences at the Magistrates' Court is increased to 12 months, or a fine, or both.
|US - Cruelty - § 48. Animal crush videos
|18 U.S.C.A. § 48
|This federal law was amended in November 2019 to expand its prohibition on "animal crush videos" to "crushing" that affects interstate or foreign commerce or occurs within the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. "Crushing" is defined as "actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 and including conduct that, if committed against a person and in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, would violate section 2241 or 2242." Exceptions exist for things like veterinary care, animal husbandry, animal slaughter, hunting and fishing, medical or scientific research, personal protection, and animal euthanasia. Violation incurs a fine or imprisonment for not more than 7 years or both fine and imprisonment.
|UT - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes
|U.C.A. 1953 § 76-9-301 - 308
|These Utah statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty provisions. "Animal" is defined as a live, nonhuman vertebrate creature, but animals raised for agricultural purposes and wildlife are excluded from the definition. A person is guilty of cruelty to animals if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence fails to provide necessary food, care, or shelter for an animal in his custody, abandons an animal in the person's custody, transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner, injures an animal, or causes any animal to fight with another animal for amusement or gain. Aggravated cruelty (i.e., torturing, poisoning, or intentionally killing an animal) and dogfighting incur stiffer penalties.
|VA - Cruelty - Article 7. Animal Control Officers and Humane Investigators.
|Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6555 - 3.2-6569
|These chapters relate to the qualifications and duties of animal control officers and the procedures for impounding stray animals.
|VA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes
|Va. Code Ann. §§ 3.2-6500 - 6590; Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-361; § 18.2-144.1
|These Virginia statutes set forth Title 3.2, the Comprehensive Animal Care laws, which include the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. For the purposes of Sec. 3.2-6570, the operative animal cruelty law, animal means any nonhuman vertebrate species including fish except those fish captured and killed or disposed of in a reasonable and customary manner. The section has a misdemeanor animal cruelty law as well as a felony provision related to torture or willful infliction of cruelty. The section requires companion animal owners to provide adequate care.
|VA - Cruelty, reporting - § 63.2-1509. Requirement that certain injuries to children be reported by physicians, nurses, teachers, etc.
|VA Code Ann. § 63.2-1509
|This Virginia statute relates to mandated reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect. With respect to animal-related issues, subsection (A)(8) requires any law-enforcement officer or animal control officer to report suspected child abuse or neglect as outlined in the statute.
|VA - Fighting - § 3.2-6571. Animal fighting; penalty
|Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6571
|This section makes it unlawful to knowingly promote, prepare, engage in or attend an exhibition of the fighting of animals. The violation becomes a Class 6 felony if: 1) one of the animals is a dog; 2) a device or substance is used to enhance the dog's ability to fight; 3) money or something else of value is wagered; 4) admission is paid; 5) an animal is owned or possessed with the intent to engage in an animal fight; or 6) a person causes a minor to attend or undertake in the activities. An animal used in fighting may be confiscated by law enforcement. Additionally, any person convicted of violating any listed provision shall be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals or cocks.
|VA - Fur - § 3.2-6570. Cruelty to animals; penalty (dog/cat fur prohibition)
|Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6570
|In Virginia, it is unlawful for any person to kill a domestic dog or cat for the purpose of obtaining the hide, fur or pelt of the dog or cat (subsection E). A violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony.
|VA - Vehicle - § 3.2-6504.1. Civil immunity; forcible entry of motor vehicle to remove unattended companion animal.
|Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6504.1
|This Virginia law was signed by the Governor on April 1, 2016. The law provides that no law-enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, or animal control officer who in good faith forcibly enters a motor vehicle in order to remove an unattended companion animal that is at risk of serious bodily injury or death shall be liable for any property damage to the vehicle entered or injury to the animal resulting from such forcible entry and removal of the animal, unless such property damage or injury results from gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
|Vermont Law 1854-1855: Cruelty to Animals
|1854 Vt. Acts & Resolves 51.1
|This document contains Vermont's anti-cruelty law from 1854.
|Vermont Laws: Act 34: 1846
|1846 Vt. Acts & Resolves 34
|Act 34 from 1846 concerns the amendment of the statute entitled "Offences against private property." Specifically, the act concerns the statutes that covers cruelty to animals and larceny of animals.
|Virginia General Laws 1893: Cruelty to Animals
|Va. Code Ann. §§ 4554-4567 (Michie 1913)
|A collection of Virginia laws from 1893 concerning the punishment and enforcement against cruelty to animals. The laws cover cruelty to animals, power of agents of the court to search for cruelty to animals, and the punishment for shooting pigeons among other things.
|VT - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes
|13 V.S.A. § 351 - 400; 20 V.S.A. § 2365b; 24 V.S.A. § 1943
|This Vermont statutory section contains the amended anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws. Animal cruelty, as defined by § 352, occurs when a person overworks, overloads, tortures, torments, abandons, administers poison to, cruelly beats or mutilates an animal, or deprives an animal which a person owns or possesses of adequate food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, or necessary medical attention. It is also animal cruelty if one owns, possesses, keeps or trains an animal engaged in an exhibition of fighting. The section excludes scientific research activities, hunting, farming, and veterinary activities among others.
|VT - Cruelty - § 5784. Forcible entry of motor vehicle to remove unattended child or animal
|12 V.S.A. § 5784
|This Vermont law, enacted in 2016, provides that any person who forcibly enter a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a child or animal from the motor vehicle shall not be subject to civil liability for damages arising from the forcible entry if certain steps are followed.
|WA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Laws (Chapter 16.52)
|West's RCWA 16.52.010 - 360
|This section of statutes contains Washington's anti-cruelty provisions. Under the section, "animal" means any nonhuman mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian. Sections 16.52.205 and 16.52.207 are the primary anti-cruelty provisions that categorize cruelty in either the first or second degree. A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree (a class C felony) when he or she intentionally inflicts substantial pain on, causes physical injury to, or kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal. A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree (a misdemeanor) if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal. An owner of an animal is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree the owner knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence fails to provide the animal with necessary food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, ventilation, space, or medical attention and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result of the failure, or if he or she abandons the animal.
|WA - Lien, cruelty - 60.56.025. Lien created for care of animal seized by law enforcement officer
|West's RCWA 60.56.025
|This Washington law states that if a law enforcement officer authorizes removal of an animal pursuant to chapter 16.52 RCW, the person or entity receiving the animal and aiding in its care or restoration to health shall have a lien upon the animal for the cost of feeding, pasturing, and caring otherwise for the animal.
|Wales - Collars, electronic - The Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (Wales) Regulations 2010
|2010 No. 943 (W.97)
|Regulations prohibiting the use of electronic collars on dogs and cats in Wales.
|WI - Cats - Question 62 - DEFEATED
|Wisconsin 2005 Question 62
This controversial measure would have allowed hunters to hunt any cat that was found free roaming, meaning it did not exhibit a collar or other signs of domestic ownership. At the Monday, April 11, 2005 meeting of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, those in favor of the feral cat hunting proposal approved the measure by a vote of 6,830 to 5,201. This approval was then forwarded to the state Natural Resources Board for consideration. Proponents of the measure suggest feral cats expose domestic animals to disease and endanger native songbirds. Opponents of the measure counter that such a law would be cruel and archaic, putting domestic cats who have escaped from their homes at risk of death. On May 25, 2005 at the Natural Resources Board regular spring meeting, a representative of the Congress indicated that the Executive Committee has declined to pursue the issue any further. (See the official meeting minutes at page 5 at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/nrboard/minutes/M05/0505%20minutes.pdf ). Feral cat advocates claimed a public relations victory, as the measure gained national and even international criticism. (See Alley Cat Allies at http://www.alleycat.org/wi.html ). (For more on the procedural history of this measure, see the "Long Summary" under the "Statute Details" above).
|WI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes
|W. S. A. 951.01 - 18; W.S.A. 944.18
|This section comprises the Wisconsin anti-cruelty section. Under the section, "animal" includes every living warm-blooded creature (except a human being), reptile, or amphibian. The section prohibits "mistreating animals," which is defined as treating any animal, whether belonging to the person or another, in a cruel manner. This section does not prohibit bona fide experiments carried on for scientific research or normal and accepted veterinary practices. This section also prohibits the instigation of dogfights, and has a unique provisions that prohibits the shooting of caged or staked animals.
|WI - Impound - 173.23. Disposition of animals
|W. S. A. 173.23
|This Wisconsin statue provides the necessary elements for an owner needs to retrieve his or her impounded dog. Included are reasonable proof of ownership, licensure if required by statute or ordinance, proof of vaccination as required by ordinance, and payment of charges. If an animal is not claimed, the statute outlines several dispositions, such as adoption, euthanization, and sale of the animal at public auction, including sale at a licensed animal market.
|WI - Vehicle - 895.484. Civil liability exemption; entering a vehicle to render assistance
|W. S. A. 895.484
|This Wisconsin law enacted in 2015 makes a person immune from civil liability for property damage or injury resulting from his or her forcible entry into a vehicle to rescue an animal or person. Immunity is provided only if certain conditions were met. The person must have a "good faith belief" that the person or domestic animal was in imminent danger of suffering bodily harm and used no more force than necessary to remove the person or animal. That person must have first determined the vehicle was locked and forcible entry was necessary, and that person must have dialed 911 or other emergency services prior to this action. In addition, the person must have waited with the person or animal until emergency services arrived or left information on the vehicle's windshield as described in the law.
|WV - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes
|W. Va. Code, § 7-10-1 to 5; W. Va. Code, § 61-8-19 to 23; W. Va. Code, § 19-33-1 - 5
|These West Virginia statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. If any person cruelly mistreats, abandons or withholds proper sustenance, including food, water, shelter or medical treatment, necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end suffering or abandons any animal to die, or uses, trains or possesses any domesticated animal for the purpose of seizing, detaining or maltreating any other domesticated animal, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor. If any person intentionally tortures or maliciously kills an animal, or causes, procures or authorizes any other person to torture or maliciously kill an animal, he or she is guilty of a felony. The provisions of this section do not apply to lawful acts of hunting, fishing, trapping or animal training or farm livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife kept in private or licensed game farms if kept and maintained according to usual and accepted standards of livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife or game farm production and management. The section also prohibits animal fighting, making it a felony if the animal is a dog or other fur-bearing animal ("canine, feline, porcine, bovine, or equine species whether wild or domesticated"), and a misdemeanor if not (i.e., cockfighting).
|WV - Cruelty, reporting - § 9-6-9a. Mandatory reporting suspected of animal cruelty by adult protective service workers
|W. Va. Code, § 9-6-9a, W. Va. Code, § 48-27-702, W. Va. Code, § 49-2-806
|These West Virginia statutes require that an adult protective services worker, a child protective services worker, or a law enforcement officer who responds to an alleged domestic violence incident, who form a reasonable suspicion that an animal is the victim of cruelty, shall report their suspicion to the county humane society within twenty-four hours.
|WY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes
|W.S.1977 § 6-3-1001 - 1010; § 6-4-601
|This compilation of laws contains Wyoming's anti-cruelty provisions that were amended in 2021. Under the new laws, a person commits cruelty to animals if the person knowingly overrides an animal or drives an animal when overloaded; intentionally or knowingly, unnecessarily injures or beats an animal; or knowingly carries an animal in a manner that poses undue risk of injury or death. Additionally, a person has the charge or custody of any animal under circumstances that manifest "extreme indifference" to the animal's safety, health or life, and fails to provide it with listed necessities, abandons the animal, fails to provide the animal with appropriate care in the case of immediate and obvious serious injury or illness also commits cruelty to animals. Other prohibitions include animal fighting, shooting or poisoning livestock or domestic animals on property where the animal is authorized to be. A first offense of cruelty to animals or of a violation of W.S. 6-3-1003 is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $750.00, or both, with enhanced penalties for subsequent convictions. Felony cruelty to animals occurs when a person commits cruelty to animals as defined in W.S. 6-3-1002(a)(v) through (ix), that results in the death or required euthanasia of the animal; or (ii) knowingly, and with intent to cause death or undue suffering, beats with cruelty, tortures, torments or mutilates an animal. Such acts incur permanent forfeiture of the animal at issue and imprisonment for not more than two years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. With either misdemeanor or felony convictions, the court may order forfeiture of the animals involved, payment of reasonable costs of animal impoundment, and restraints on future ownership of animals. A bestiality law was also enacted in 2021 that prohibits actors from engaging in sexual acts with animals. Violation is a misdemeanor with punishment of up to one year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
|WY - Cruelty, livestock - Chapter 29. Protection of Livestock Animals.
|W. S. 1977 §§ 11-29-101 to 115
|This chapter concerns cruelty to livestock animals. The laws state that every person who confines or causes to be confined any livestock animal under the laws of this state, must supply to the livestock animal during confinement a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and water. The section also provides that officers and agents of the Wyoming livestock board must be provided with a certificate and badge. Any peace officer, agent or officer of the board may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty upon any livestock animal in his or her presence