Thursday, April 28, 2016

Animal Confiscation Bill Passes Missouri House

The Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) applauds the Missouri House of Representatives for passing HB 1969 by a 101-41 vote. The legislation now moves to the Missouri Senate for consideration. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Sonya Anderson (R-131), changes the laws regarding the confiscation of animals.

MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering said HB 1969 would stop the process of treating the innocent as criminals when it comes to animal abuse and neglect.

"The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other animal rights extremist organizations too often lead the charge for the confiscation of animals - everything from dogs to cattle - claiming animal abuse and neglect," said Deering. "Often times these animals are not abused or neglected and the owner is found innocent. The problem is the owner still has to pay outlandish fees for boarding and care to get their own animals back."

Rep. Anderson said that is because under current law if an animal owner is charged with animal abuse or neglect and they are found not guilty the owner is still required to pay for all expenses associated with their case to prevent immediate disposition of their animals. Rep. Anderson said that is "just plain wrong."

"HB 1969 would ensure owners who are found innocent are not liable for the costs associated with holding their animals and states that their animals must be immediately returned," said Rep. Anderson. "I believe you are innocent until proven guilty and there is a big difference between being charged with a crime and being convicted of a crime."

Deering said MCA encourages the Senate to pass the legislation without delay.

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