Mississippi Felony Bills Clear SenatePosted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on February 9, 2011
Mississippi, one of the "Worst Five States" in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s latest animal protection laws rankings report, is one step closer to leaving the infamous list of the final four states currently without any felony animal cruelty penalties.
Today, the Mississippi Senate passed SB 2127 & SB 2821, both of which include a first-offense felony penalty for certain acts against a dog or cat. The bills also include other various provisions, such as mental health evaluations and counseling for offenders, restitution and reimbursement of costs, possession bans, unannounced visits by law enforcement officers to offenders’ homes, and a host of statutory exemptions.
The legislation now heads for consideration in the Mississippi House of Representatives, which last year derailed a similar effort due to pressure from state agricultural groups, despite a similar limitation to only dogs and cats and express exemptions for agricultural practices.