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Archive for the ‘Animal Law’ Category

In 2006, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries visited the soybean farm of Steve VanKesteren after receiving a report that he had killed two red-tailed hawks in violation of the Migratory Bird Act.  The visit produced no evidence, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries set up video surveillance of the farm.  The surveillance showed VanKesteren killing two other red-tailed hawks.  He was fined $1,000 by a federal magistrate judge.

On appeal, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that law enforcement officials are allowed to go upon private property without a warrant if that property is an open field.  For a full account of the story, click here.

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The stated purpose of the Act is to change animal cruelty from a misdemeanor to a felony.  However, animal cruelty (mistreatment, killing, abandonment, etc.) is still only a misdemeanor.  Ark. Code Ann. 5-62-101.  Aggravated animal cruelty (torture) is now a Class D felony.  Ark. Code Ann. 5-62-104.  The Act changes the prohibition against dog fighting into a prohibition against animal fighting, which is still a first degree Class D felony.  Ark. Code Ann. 5-62-120.  Watching animal fighting is a second degree Class D felony.  Ark. Code Ann. 5-62-120.

The new Act was recently signed into law by Governor Beebe and will be added to the code soon.  For the full text of the Act, click here.

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