HB381 (2017) Detail

Relative to cruelty to non-captive wildlife.


HB 381-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2017 SESSION

17-0162

10/01

 

HOUSE BILL 381-FN

 

AN ACT relative to cruelty to non-captive wildlife.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Rogers, Merr. 28; Rep. Vaillancourt, Hills. 15

 

COMMITTEE: Fish and Game and Marine Resources

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill applies certain provisions for the crime of animal cruelty to wild animals not in captivity.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17-0162

10/01

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT relative to cruelty to non-captive wildlife.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Cruelty to Animals; Wild Animals Not in Captivity.  Amend RSA 644:8 to read as follows:

644:8  Cruelty to Animals.

I.  In this section, "cruelty'' shall include, but not be limited to, acts or omissions injurious or detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of any animal, including the abandoning of any domesticated animal, household pet, or wild animal in captivity without proper provision for its care, sustenance, protection or shelter.

II.  In this section, "animal'' means a domestic animal, a household pet or a wild animal in captivity.  The term "animal" shall also apply to a wild animal not in captivity as described in paragraph VI.

II-a.  In this section, "shelter'' or "necessary shelter'' for dogs shall mean any natural or artificial area which provides protection from the direct sunlight and adequate air circulation when that sunlight is likely to cause heat exhaustion of a dog tied or caged outside.  Shelter from the weather shall allow the dog to remain clean and dry.  Shelter shall be structurally sound and have an area within to afford the dog the ability to stand up, turn around and lie down, and be of proportionate size as to allow the natural body heat of the dog to be retained.

III.  A person is guilty of a misdemeanor for a first offense, and of a class B felony for a second or subsequent offense, who:

(a)  Without lawful authority negligently deprives or causes to be deprived any animal in his possession or custody necessary care, sustenance or shelter;

(b)  Negligently beats, cruelly whips, tortures, mutilates or in any other manner mistreats or causes to be mistreated any animal;

(c)  Negligently overdrives, overworks, drives when overloaded, or otherwise abuses or misuses any animal intended for or used for labor;

(d)  Negligently transports any animal in his possession or custody in a manner injurious to the health, safety or physical well-being of such animal;

(e)  Negligently abandons any animal previously in his possession or custody by causing such animal to be left without supervision or adequate provision for its care, sustenance or shelter; or

(f)  Otherwise negligently permits or causes any animal in his possession or custody to be subjected to cruelty, inhumane treatment or unnecessary suffering of any kind.

III-a.  A person is guilty of a class B felony who purposely beats, cruelly whips, tortures, or mutilates any animal or causes any animal to be beaten, cruelly whipped, tortured, or mutilated.

IV.(a)  In addition to being guilty of crimes as provided in paragraphs III and III-a, any person charged with cruelty to animals may have his or her animal confiscated by the arresting officer and, upon said person's conviction of cruelty to animals, the court may dispose of said animal in any manner it decides.  Courts shall give cases in which animals have been confiscated by an arresting officer priority on the court calendar.  The costs, if any, incurred in boarding and treating the animal, pending disposition of the case, and in disposing of the animal, upon a conviction of said person for cruelty to animals, shall be borne by the person so convicted.  In addition, the court may prohibit any person convicted of animal cruelty from having future ownership or custody of other animals for any period of time the court deems reasonable or impose any other reasonable restrictions on the person's future ownership or custody of animals as necessary for the protection of the animals.

(b)  If a person convicted of cruelty to animals appeals the conviction and any confiscated animal remains in the custody of the arresting officer or the officer's designee pending disposition of the appeal, in order for the appellant to maintain a future interest in the animal, the trial court may require the appellant to post a bond or other security in an amount not exceeding $2,000 for each animal in custody for costs expected to be incurred for the board and care of the animal during the appeal.  If the conviction is affirmed on appeal, the costs incurred for the board and care of the animal shall be paid to the custodian from the posted security and the balance, if any, returned to the person who posted it.

IV-a.(a)  Except as provided in subparagraphs (b) and (c) any appropriate law enforcement officer, animal control officer, or officer of a duly licensed humane society may take into temporary protective custody any animal when there is probable cause to believe that it has been or is being abused or neglected in violation of paragraphs III or III-a when there is a clear and imminent danger to the animal's health or life and there is not sufficient time to obtain a court order.  Such officer shall leave a written notice indicating the type and number of animals taken into protective custody, the name of the officer, the time and date taken, the reason it was taken, the procedure to have the animal returned and any other relevant information.  Such notice shall be left at the location where the animal was taken into custody.  The officer shall provide for proper care and housing of any animal taken into protective custody under this paragraph.  If, after 7 days, the animal has not been returned or claimed, the officer shall petition the municipal or district court seeking either permanent custody or a one-week extension of custody or shall file charges under this section.  If a week's extension is granted by the court and after a period of 14 days the animal remains unclaimed, the title and custody of the animal shall rest with the officer on behalf of the officer's department or society.  The department or society may dispose of the animal in any lawful and humane manner as if it were the rightful owner.  If after 14 days the officer or the officer's department determines that charges should be filed under this section, the officer shall petition the court.

(b)  For purposes of subparagraph (a) the investigating officer for livestock, as defined in RSA 427:38, III, shall be accompanied by a veterinarian licensed under RSA 332-B or the state veterinarian who shall set the probable cause criteria for taking the animal or animals.

(c)(1)  For purposes of subparagraph (a), for facilities licensed to conduct live running or harness horseracing or live dog racing pursuant to RSA 284, the appropriate law enforcement officer, animal control officer, or officer of a duly licensed humane society shall:

(A)  Notify the director of the [pari-mutuel] lottery commission of the circumstances arising under subparagraph (a);

(B)  Enter the grounds of the facility with the director of the [pari-mutuel] lottery commission or such person designated by the director of the [pari-mutuel] lottery commission;

(C)  Take such horses or dogs into temporary protective custody as determined by the executive director of the [pari-mutuel] lottery commission or such person designated by the executive director of the [pari-mutuel] lottery commission; and

(D)  Comply with subparagraph (a) after taking a horse or dog from a facility licensed pursuant to RSA 284 into temporary protective custody.

(2)  This paragraph shall not preempt existing or enforcement authority of the [pari-mutuel] lottery commission, pursuant to RSA 284 or rules and regulations adopted pursuant to such authority.

V.  A veterinarian licensed to practice in the state shall be held harmless from either criminal or civil liability for any decisions made for services rendered under the provisions of this section or RSA 435:11-16.  Such a veterinarian is, therefore, under this paragraph, protected from a lawsuit for his part in an investigation of cruelty to animals.

VI.(a)  The penalties and provisions of paragraph III shall not apply to wild animals not in captivity.

(b)  This section shall not apply to wild animals not in captivity for any activity expressly authorized or permitted under Title XVIII.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2018.

 

LBAO

17-0162

1/6/17

 

HB 381-FN- FISCAL NOTE

as introduced

 

AN ACT relative to cruelty to non-captive wildlife.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill makes it a class B felony to purposely beat, cruelly whip, torture, or mutilate a wild animal not in captivity or cause a wild animal not in captivity to be beaten, cruelly whipped, tortured, or mutilated.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

Judicial Branch

FY 2018

FY 2019

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$451

$456

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted average case cost estimates for FY 2018 and FY 2019 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Felony

$760/Case

$760/Case

Assigned Counsel – Major Crimes (aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault and first degree assault)

$100/Hour up to $8,000

 

$100/Hour up to $8,000

 

Assigned Counsel – Felony

$60/Hour up to $4,100

$60/Hour up to $4,100

 

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

 

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2016 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$35,832

$35,832

FY 2016 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$573

$573

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$85 to $110

$85 to $110

 

The Lottery Commission states this bill will have no impact on its current operating budget.  The bill requires the Lottery Commission to take protective custody of animals mistreated at facilities licensed to conduct live running or harness horse racing or dog racing.  However, live dog racing is prohibited and there is no live running or harness horse racing currently being conducted in the State.  Should there be live running or harness horse racing in the future, there could be an indeterminable fiscal impact resulting from the cost of temporary housing of mistreated animals, hiring veterinarians, or other related costs.

 

The Department of Justice states this bill will not impact its operating budget as it would not be involved in any prosecutions or investigations related to this bill.  Any appeals would be handled within the Department's existing budget.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Departments of Corrections and Justice, Judicial Council, Lottery Commission, and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

 

Links

HB381 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 24, 2017 House Hearing
Jan. 31, 2017 House Exec Session
Feb. 15, 2017 House Floor Vote
Feb. 15, 2017 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB381 Revision: 1025 Date: Jan. 30, 2017, 8:08 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 5, 2017 Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Fish and Game and Marine Resources HJ 3 P. 12
Jan. 24, 2017 Public Hearing: 01/24/2017 01:00 PM LOB 307
Jan. 31, 2017 Subcommittee Work Session: 01/31/2017 12:00 PM LOB 307
Jan. 31, 2017 Executive Session: 01/31/2017 01:00 PM LOB 307
Feb. 15, 2017 Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 02/15/2017 (Vote 12-9; RC) HC 11 P. 26
Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass
Feb. 15, 2017 Special Order to 2/16/2017 (Rep. Rogers): MA DV 200-128 02/15/2017 HJ 7 P. 53
Feb. 16, 2017 Lay on Table (Rep. Vaillancourt): MA DV 239-130 02/16/2017 HJ 8 P. 11
Died on Table