Rhode Island, California, and Louisiana legislatures are considering laws to create animal abuse registries to keep track of citizens convicted of animal cruelty and abuse.
Similar to systems currently used to keep track of sex offenders, those convicted of violating animal rights laws would have to register personal information with local law enforcement and the information would be publicly accessible.
According to the DVM 360, an online veterinary newspaper, the registries being considered in California and Rhode Island would define an animal abuser as anyone over the age of 18 convicted of a felony animal abuse offense. Louisiana would require registration for any animal abuse conviction at all ages.
“The laws would require registrants to list their personal information, employer’s name and location, the date and details of their animal abuse offense,” said DVM. “Law enforcement authorities will have a varied number of days, according to each state, to enter the abuser’s information in to a database.”
Violating humane handling and animal rights laws has entered the food safety discussion in recent months. Animal abuse and improper handling is considered a food safety issue (as was demonstrated by a number of graphic videos released in the last few years showing livestock being dragged through feces).
“We know E. coli, mad cow disease, and other problems are associated with the mistreatment and mishandling of animals,” Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society, told a congressional oversight committee in March after a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinarian blew the whistle on federal officials for ignoring egregious animal abuse and food safety violations.
Last week animal abuse caught headlines again with the release of an undercover video depicting a dairy worker severely abusing a calf and cows, causing public outrage and renewing calls for stronger and stricter regulations on the treatment of farm animals.