Oregon legislators pass stronger laws to protect state's pets from cruelty

Oregon legislators took major steps to protect the state's animals from abuse and neglect by passing SB 6, also called the Omnibus Animal Welfare Bill.

The Omnibus Animal Welfare Bill gives the state's government and law enforcement greater powers to prevent crimes against animals and forcefully deal with those who mistreat animals.

The legislation is the result of a combined effort between the Oregon Humane Society (OHS), the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Humane Society of the United States, the Oregon Dairyman's Association, the Oregon Farm Bureau, and the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, the OHS said in its news release.

Some of the key provisions contained in the Omnibus Animal Welfare Act include:

  • Judges will have increased power to issue prison sentences to people who commit crimes against animals.
  • Rescue groups will be required to become licensed and allow inspections by local government.
  • People convicted of animal abuse or neglect will not be permitted to possess horses and other livestock.
  • Strengthens penalties for any animal crime committed in the presence of a minor or when there are prior domestic violence convictions.
  • Those who commit a crime against 11 or more pets will be subject to stronger penalties.
  • Animal cruelty cases under investigation by law enforcement will be helped along by a streamlined forfeiture and foreclosure process, which will transfer seized animals to adoptive homes more quickly.
Oregon legislatures also passed HB 2783, which limits the time that owners can tether dogs, as well as SB 835, which bans equine tripping - where participants use ropes to trip moving horses - during rodeos in Oregon.

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