Moves to drag Kentucky up from its rating as one of the worst states for animal welfare are being supported by the state’s horse council, which is backing legislation to make cruelty to horses a Class D felony.
The Kentucky Horse Council has announced support for their top legislative priority for 2019, HB 98 also known as Klaire’s Law. The bill strengthens the laws surrounding equine abuse and neglect.
Presently, animal abuse and neglect in the bluegrass state is a misdemeanor, rather than a felony.
Introduced by Representative Diane St. Onge, HB 98 creates a new section of KRS 525 clearly defining equine abuse and neglect. Cruelty to equines would be made a Class D felony and the bill provides for termination of ownership interests for guilty parties as well as restitution for damage to the property of others as well as for the costs associated with caring for any equine that was the subject of the offense resulting in conviction.
The bill has received bipartisan sponsorship support from Representatives St. Onge, Mark Hart, and Ruth Ann Palumbo. To help advance HB 98, Kentucky residents are asked to contact their legislator to voice their support.
“At a time when Kentucky has been consistently recognized for having the worst animal welfare laws in the United States, we are pleased to see our elected officials taking notice and making a stand to protect equine rights,” said Kentucky Horse Council Board President Ryan Watson.
“It is critical that we protect the animals that make up our Commonwealth’s signature industry and take a step forward as a leader in the equine industry in this country.”