Animal Protection Groups Praise Alabama Bill

May 22, 2013

Animal protection groups are urging Alabama's governor to sign legislation toughening the penalties for animal cruelty.

   The Legislature passed a bill on the last night of its session to increase the penalty for animal cruelty from a maximum of six months in jail to a maximum of one year. The bill also adds a definition for torture that can cause the punishment to increase to a felony carrying up to 10 years in prison.

   The Alabama director of the Humane Society of the United States, Mindy Gilbert, says the bill by Republican Rep. Joe Faust of Fairhope gives animals more protection. An official with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Sherry Rout, says the Legislature made clear that people committing animal cruelty will be held accountable.