California Gov. Edmund “Jerry” Brown signed into law today a bill that prohibits the sale of animals in public places and increases the penalty for animal neglect.
As approved, Senate Bill 917 makes it a crime to willfully sell or give away, as part of a commercial transaction, a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival or boardwalk. It will also be illegal to display or offer for sale, or display or offer to give away, as part of a commercial transaction, a live animal if the act of selling or giving away the live animal is to occur on any street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival or boardwalk.
A number of exemptions are provided, including exemptions for pet stores and, under certain circumstances, cat shows, dog shows and bird shows.
First time violators will be subject to a fine of up to $250. First time violators who cause or permit any animal to suffer or be injured, or who places the animal in danger, will face misdemeanor charges. Second or subsequent violators will face misdemeanor charges and fine of up to $1,000 per violation. A notice describing the charge and the penalty may be issued by any peace officer, animal control officer or humane officer.
In addition, SB 917 increases the penalty of animal neglect by allowing a maximum sentence of up to one year in county jail for animal neglect and a fine of up to $20,000.
Bill sponsor Ted Lieu said the penalty for animal neglect is now consistent with animal cruelty.
The measure takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called the new law a victory for California’s animals.
“SB 917 was one of the first animal protection bills to cross Governor Brown’s desk and we applaud him for helping to protect California’s animals,” said Jill Buckley, senior director of government relations for the ASPCA. “By signing SB 917, Governor Brown recognizes the need to safeguard animals sold in public parking lots and roadside venues, and puppies, kittens and other pets will no longer be left to suffer in unsanitary and overcrowded cages without proper food and water.”
To view SB 917 in its entirety, click here.<HOME>
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