Florida Bills Would Strengthen Penalties for Animal Sexual Abuse, Other Animal-Related Crimes

An Act Relating to Animal Abuse (S.B. 420 / H.B. 435)

Legislation would increase penalties for the sexual abuse of animals and address additional animal-related offenses.


March 14, 2022

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Two bills being considered by Florida lawmakers would make much-needed improvements to the state’s anti-cruelty laws. 

Both bills — H.B. 435 and S.B. 420 — would strengthen penalties against the sexual abuse of animals, elevating these acts from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. 

The House bill, H.B. 435, also includes additional provisions, imposing a five-year ban on animal possession for those convicted of animal sexual abuse and making it a crime to bring a minor to an animal-fighting or animal-baiting event.  

H.B. 435 was introduced by Rep. Mike Greico (D-113), and S.B. 420 by Sen. Jason Pizzo (D-38). 

The Animal Legal Defense Fund strongly supports these bills. 

Learn more about Florida’s anti-cruelty laws and find opportunities to take action for animals in the state at 

Find out about the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s work on behalf of animal crime victims, and learn how you can report animal cruelty, at 

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