A Connecticut lawmaker’s efforts to strengthen existing animal cruelty laws raises an interesting question — and one that may not be unique to his state. Should there be tougher penalties for offenses committed under the current laws, or should the state’s animal cruelty statute be completely rewritten?
In a recent New Britain Herald article, State Rep. Gary Bryan explained why he’s backing legislation that failed to gain enough support to make it to the governor’s desk last year. If it is enacted, anyone convicted of deliberately “maiming, torturing or mutilating animals” will face harsher punishments than they do now.
But one skeptic quoted in the story says more can — and should be done. In fact, the man in charge of New Britain’s animal control claims that the current rules are outdated and confusing. That makes successful prosecution of animal cruelty cases more difficult, Sgt. Paul Keller tells the New Britain Herald.
The solution? Keller suggests scrapping everything and rewriting the state’s animal cruelty statute with an emphasis on clarity and simplicity.
The thought of doing that might make some legislators run screaming from the room. I mean, why make things easier? Why make things better?
But all joking aside, I think they should do whatever it takes to ensure that anyone who intentionally injures an animal in any way is successfully prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
If that means working their butts off to make sure the bill Byron’s backing makes it to the governor’s desk this year, so be it. If that means making partial revisions to the existing statute, then so be it. And if that means rewriting the entire statute, well, so be it.
What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.