Lawmakers need to make animal cruelty laws a priority

Published 11:40 pm Saturday, December 11, 2010

It has been nine years since we have had an animal cruelty law in this state. We have a law titled “Shearing Wool From Dead Sheep,” which makes it illegal to take the wool from a dead sheep that was killed by a dog, but we do not have a law against torturing, tormenting, beating, or mutilating animals.

We have a law titled “Stealing Milk From Cow,” which makes it illegal to milk a cow and take the milk without the owner’s permission, but it is not illegal to overload, overwork, or override an animal in this state. Mississippi has a law against poisoning animals and the law states which animals cannot be poisoned. Cats were omitted from this list and it is not a crime to poison cats in Mississippi.

Over the past nine years, our Legislature has failed to pass an animal cruelty law. Earlier this year the Senate passed Senate Bill 2623, but the House Agriculture Committee simply did not meet and let the bill die.

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Mississippi is the only state in the United States of America that does not have an animal cruelty law. If our elected leaders cannot figure out how to write a law, maybe they could look at what the rest of the nation has done. It seems that Mississippi is always last.

Hopefully this will be the last year we will have to do without.

June Selby