Guest Blogger: Stephen Iannocone
It seems that animal law is beginning to evolve in the state of New York. While animal cruelty has not been on the same level as a mere traffic violation for quite some time, New York Law continues to move in the right direction. New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law even defines situations in which aggravated animal cruelty, when intended to cause severe harm, can break through the confines of a misdemeanor to be considered a felony. But the question now becomes: to what degree is the state of New York applying these laws? The answer to that question came in 2005, when the crime of animal cruelty became a finger-printable offense pursuant to New York’s Criminal Procedure Law §160.10. This means that animal cruelty is put on the same level as all other felonies and misdemeanors under New York Penal Law, but is this enough? While the people committing these acts of cruelty may not take the offense seriously, it appears that New York Law has taken a step in the right direction. The next step is educating law enforcement about these laws and the seriousness of these crimes like other states and town precincts have already have begun to do.