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Association of Prosecuting Attorneys

New York Officials Propose Tougher Animal Cruelty Laws

April 25, 2012
A New York prosecutor is joining legislators in calling for tougher laws and penalties for those who abuse animals. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice supports putting dog fighting and other animal cruelty offenses under the state Penal Law. Currently they are considered violations of the Agriculture & Markets Law. Penalties could jump from a maximum of two years to up to seven years in prison under the proposal. State Sen. Charles Fuschillo and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal are sponsoring the legislation in Albany. The officials say some of the Agriculture & Markets laws on animal cruelty haven't been updated in nearly a century. One provision would create new laws on animal abandonment and endangering the welfare of an animal. Also, animal cruelty convicts would have to submit DNA samples.