Come 2014, the Kentucky General Assembly will likely consider ‘animal protection’ legislation. Melodie Zentall is with the Kentucky Coalition for Animal Protection. She says the Commonwealth ranks poorly when it comes to watching over its animals. “We are ranked 50th, dead last by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, that’s a national group. They look at animal protective laws across the nation, Kentucky is ranked dead last, dead last,” said Zentall.
Dee Robinson with the Kentucky Citizens Against Animal Abuse says a vast majority of people who abuse animals go on to harm the elderly, vulnerable people and children. She says current law dealing with the torturing of animals is not sufficient.
“They had a Romeo law that had been passed in 2003 but was watered down, that the torture of an animal is only a felony on the second offense which is totally unacceptable,” said Robinson.
The House Judiciary Committee recently heard testimony on this issue. The panel also heard from Mark Nethery, President of the League of Kentucky Sportsmen.
“Issues regarding animal abuse and their connection to human abuse, the League of Kentucky Sportsmen certainly recognizes and is against any form of animal abuse whatsoever. We feel the laws are adequate, however stronger and stiffer penalties are probably in order,” explained Nethery.
Nethery does says it’s possible language in additional animal protection legislation could infringe on the rights of sportsman and the ownership of their animals.