Great News from the Western Pacific — Guam Strengthens its Animal Protection Laws

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on February 28, 2011

On Feb. 24, the Guam Legislature voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 9 which dramatically strengthens the territory’s laws protecting animals. Once the bill is signed into law, Guam will finally join the list of U.S. jurisdictions with felony animal abuse penalties. The new felony penalty will apply to not only cases involving cruelty, but also neglect of an animal which results in serious physical injury or death.

In addition to the new felony penalties, the legislation makes animal abandonment a misdemeanor; authorizes law enforcement seizure of mistreated animals; and adopts robust minimum care standards and other definitions which mirror much of what is contained in ALDF’s model animal protection laws.

Guam had ranked 52nd out of 56 in ALDF’s 2010 rankings report on the strength and comprehensiveness of the laws of each state and territory in the U.S. These new improvements will likely lead to a significant upward movement in this year’s rankings.

Congratulations Guam!