Rescue would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of all those who worked
constantly before and during the last session of the Georgia Legislature to
bring about the passage of SB 297 and other legislation that has been so badly
needed for so long. They deserve
the heartfelt thanks of all animal lovers in the State of Georgia and beyond,
because without their efforts our animals would be no better off than before.
The following recap of Senate Bill 297 is provided to help in
understanding one of the results of those efforts
The Animal Protection Act of 2000
SB 297, the Animal Protection Act of 2000 (as
amended in Conference Committee), provides felony punishment for aggravated
animal cruelty, passed the Senate unanimously and by all but one vote in the
(For a full version of the bill, click on the following
Once Governor Roy Barnes signs the bill it will become law
effective July 1, 2000. Please write Governor Barnes and ask him to sign this
very important legislation for the people and the animals of Georgia.
Honorable Roy Barnes
Governor of the State of Georgia
Atlanta GA 30334-0900
A reception honoring Senator Robert Brown
and Representative Robert Reichert and others whose support was
instrumental in getting this bill passed is being planned.
For the latest details, click here
to go to the Humane Association of Georgia’s home page; they originally
proposed the legislation and will be hosting this reception.
Humane Association of Georgia, Inc.
A coalition of humane societies, animal control and rescue groups and individuals.
P O Box 6560 / Macon GA
Phone and Fax: (912)745-4099
Visit our website: http://www.humassocga.org
SB 297 RECAP:
This legislation provides a statewide definition of an
"animal control officer" and allows impoundment by local governments
as well as the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
This legislation makes certain acts of animal cruelty a
felony (note that although the word "felony" does not appear in the
bill, it is considered a felony because there is felony level punishment).
A felony could be charged where:
"A person commits the offense
of aggravated cruelty to animals when he or she knowingly and maliciously causes
death or physical harm to an animal by rendering a part of such animal's body
useless, or by seriously disfiguring such animal."
The criminal section of this bill is limited by the definitions of animal and willful neglect:
Aggravated cruelty (felony) first count:
Aggravated cruelty (felony) second or subsequent counts:
Misdemeanor cruelty first count:
Misdemeanor cruelty second or subsequent
Misdemeanor cruelty second or subsequent counts where
the animal dies:
The paragraph illustrating areas where this bill will not conflict with (or overrule) another law that permits certain activity reads:
"The provisions of this Code section shall not be construed as prohibiting conduct which is otherwise permitted under the laws of this state or of the United States, including, but not limited to, agricultural, animal husbandry, butchering, food processing, marketing, scientific, research, medical, zoological, exhibition, competitive, hunting, trapping, fishing, wildlife management, or pest control practices or the authorized practice of veterinary medicine nor to limit in any way the authority or duty of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, any county board of health, any law enforcement officer, dog, animal, or rabies control officer, humane society, veterinarian, or private landowner protecting his or her property."
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