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New Senate bill would shift animal cruelty responsibilities

Fayette Animal Shelter

(MONTGOMERY, AL)-- A new Senate bill would put the regulations of animal enterprises and working animals in the hands of the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries.

The Working Animal Protection and Animal Enterprise Freedom Act, introduced on Tuesday, would also alter cruelty reporting, impoundment procedures, and penalties for frivolous complaints. 

The bill is concerned with the "production, processing, registration, marketing, sale, storage, transportation, distribution, possession, work or other use of animals" in regards to working animals and animal enterprises. The commissioner would be resposible for reporting those acused of violating state or federal law pertaining to the sale, care, keeping, transfer and transport of animals.

Anyone who submits a false report of animal cruelty would be fined the amount equal to the costs of any investigation by the department of the complaint. Reporting would involve making a sworn statement in front of a municipal judge of sheriff, who would deliver the statement to either an animal control officer or department investigator.

If passed, the law would take effect on March 1. 

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