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First Substitute H.B. 210
7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends provisions of the Utah Criminal Code relating to animal cruelty and
10 animal torture.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 . defines terms;
14 . removes "pests" from the definition of an animal if the pests are exterminated or
15 controlled in accordance with recognized pest extermination or control practices;
16 . adds as an element of the crime of animal cruelty that the conduct of the actor
17 towards the animal was not reasonable and necessary to protect the actor or another
18 person from injury or death or to protect certain property from damage or loss;
19 . provides that the provisions of this bill do not affect or prohibit the humane
20 shooting of an animal in an unincorporated area of a county if the person doing the
21 shooting has a reasonable belief that the animal is a feral animal; and
22 . makes technical changes.
23 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25 Other Special Clauses:
27 Utah Code Sections Affected:
29 76-9-301, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 292
31 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
32 Section 1. Section 76-9-301 is amended to read:
33 76-9-301. Cruelty to animals.
34 (1) As used in this section:
35 (a) (i) "Abandon" means to intentionally deposit, leave, or drop off any live animal:
36 (A) without providing for the care of that animal, in accordance with accepted animal
37 husbandry practices or customary farming practices; or
38 (B) in a situation where conditions present an immediate, direct, and serious threat to
39 the life, safety, or health of the animal.
40 (ii) "Abandon" does not include returning wildlife to its natural habitat.
41 (b) (i) "Animal" means, except as provided in Subsection (1)(b)(ii), a live, nonhuman
42 vertebrate creature.
43 (ii) "Animal" does not include:
44 (A) a live, nonhuman vertebrate creature, if:
45 (I) the conduct toward the creature, and the care provided to the creature, is in
46 accordance with accepted animal husbandry practices; and
47 (II) the creature is:
48 (Aa) owned or kept by a zoological park that is accredited by, or a member of, the
49 American Zoo and Aquarium Association;
50 (Bb) kept, owned, or used for the purpose of training hunting dogs or raptors; or
51 (Cc) temporarily in the state as part of a circus or traveling exhibitor licensed by the
52 United States Department of Agriculture under 7 U.S.C. 2133;
53 (B) a live, nonhuman vertebrate creature that is owned, kept, or used for rodeo
54 purposes, if the conduct toward the creature, and the care provided to the creature, is in
55 accordance with accepted rodeo practices;
56 (C) livestock, if the conduct toward the creature, and the care provided to the creature,
57 is in accordance with accepted animal husbandry practices or customary farming practices; [
58 (D) wildlife, as defined in Section 23-13-2 , including protected and unprotected
59 wildlife, if the conduct toward the wildlife is in accordance with lawful hunting, fishing, or
60 trapping practices or other lawful practices[
61 (E) a pest, as defined in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, 7
62 U.S.C. 136, as amended, if the pest is exterminated or controlled consistent with recognized
63 pest extermination or control practices.
64 (c) "Companion animal" means an animal that is a domestic dog or a domestic cat.
65 (d) "Custody" means ownership, possession, or control over an animal.
66 (e) "Feral" is as defined in Section 23-13-2 .
68 (i) is authorized by state law, including Division of Wildlife Resources rules; and
69 (ii) is not in violation of a local ordinance.
71 (i) domesticated:
72 (A) cattle;
73 (B) sheep;
74 (C) goats;
75 (D) turkeys;
76 (E) swine;
77 (F) equines;
78 (G) camelidae;
79 (H) ratites; or
80 (I) bison;
81 (ii) domesticated elk, as defined in Section 4-39-102 ; or
82 (iii) any domesticated nonhuman vertebrate creature, domestic furbearer, or domestic
83 poultry, raised, kept, or used for agricultural purposes.
85 account the species, age, and physical condition of the animal:
86 (i) appropriate and essential food and water;
87 (ii) adequate protection, including appropriate shelter, against extreme weather
88 conditions; and
89 (iii) other essential care.
91 physical pain to an animal in an especially heinous, atrocious, cruel, or exceptionally depraved
93 (2) Except as provided in Subsection (4) or (6), a person is guilty of cruelty to an
94 animal if:
95 (a) the person, without legal privilege to do so, intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or
96 with criminal negligence:
98 person's custody;
102 kind for amusement or gain; or
104 creature for amusement or gain[
105 (b) the person's conduct is not reasonable and necessary to protect:
106 (i) the actor or another person from injury or death; or
107 (ii) property from damage or loss if the property is:
108 (A) an animal; or
109 (B) other property that is $50 or more in value.
110 (3) Except as provided in Section 76-9-301.7 , a violation of Subsection (2) is:
111 (a) a class B misdemeanor if committed intentionally or knowingly; and
112 (b) a class C misdemeanor if committed recklessly or with criminal negligence.
113 (4) A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to an animal if the person:
114 (a) tortures an animal;
115 (b) administers, or causes to be administered, poison or a poisonous substance to an
116 animal; or
117 (c) kills an animal or causes an animal to be killed without having a legal privilege to
118 do so.
119 (5) Except as provided in Subsection (6) or Section 76-9-301.7 , a violation of
120 Subsection (4) is:
121 (a) a class A misdemeanor if committed intentionally or knowingly;
122 (b) a class B misdemeanor if committed recklessly; and
123 (c) a class C misdemeanor if committed with criminal negligence.
124 (6) A person is guilty of a third degree felony if the person intentionally or knowingly
125 tortures a companion animal.
126 (7) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the conduct of the actor towards
127 the animal was:
128 (a) by a licensed veterinarian using accepted veterinary practice;
129 (b) directly related to bona fide experimentation for scientific research, provided that if
130 the animal is to be destroyed, the manner employed will not be unnecessarily cruel unless
131 directly necessary to the veterinary purpose or scientific research involved;
132 (c) permitted under Section 18-1-3 ;
133 (d) by a person who humanely destroys any animal found suffering past recovery for
134 any useful purpose; or
135 (e) by a person who humanely destroys any apparently abandoned animal found on the
136 person's property.
137 (8) For purposes of Subsection (7)(d), before destroying the suffering animal, the
138 person who is not the owner of the animal shall obtain:
139 (a) the judgment of a veterinarian of the animal's nonrecoverable condition;
140 (b) the judgment of two other persons called by the person to view the unrecoverable
141 condition of the animal in the person's presence;
142 (c) the consent from the owner of the animal to the destruction of the animal; or
143 (d) a reasonable conclusion that the animal's suffering is beyond recovery, through the
144 person's own observation, if the person is in a location or circumstance where the person is
145 unable to contact another person.
146 (9) This section does not affect or prohibit:
147 (a) the training, instruction, and grooming of animals, if the methods used are in
148 accordance with accepted animal husbandry practices or customary farming practices;
149 (b) the use of an electronic locating or training collar by the owner of an animal for the
150 purpose of lawful animal training, lawful hunting practices, or protecting against loss of that
151 animal; or
152 (c) the lawful hunting of, fishing for, or trapping of, wildlife[
153 (d) the humane shooting of an animal in an unincorporated area of a county if the
154 person doing the shooting has a reasonable belief that the animal is a feral animal.
155 (10) County and municipal governments may not prohibit the use of an electronic
156 locating or training collar.
157 (11) Upon conviction under this section, the court may in its discretion, in addition to
158 other penalties:
159 (a) order the defendant to be evaluated to determine the need for psychiatric or
160 psychological counseling, to receive counseling as the court determines to be appropriate, and
161 to pay the costs of the evaluation and counseling;
162 (b) require the defendant to forfeit any rights the defendant has to the animal subjected
163 to a violation of this section and to repay the reasonable costs incurred by any person or agency
164 in caring for each animal subjected to violation of this section;
165 (c) order the defendant to no longer possess or retain custody of any animal, as
166 specified by the court, during the period of the defendant's probation or parole or other period
167 as designated by the court; and
168 (d) order the animal to be placed for the purpose of adoption or care in the custody of a
169 county and municipal animal control agency, an animal welfare agency registered with the
170 state, sold at public auction, or humanely destroyed.
171 (12) This section does not prohibit the use of animals in lawful training.
172 (13) A veterinarian who, acting in good faith, reports a violation of this section to law
173 enforcement may not be held civilly liable for making the report.
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