Animal Rights Bill Draws Criticism from Humane Groups

An animal rights bill moving through the Alabama State House has caught the attention of animal rights groups across the state

The legislation, proposed by Senator Jack Williams of Mobile would give authority in animal abuse cases that involve working animals and animal enterprises to the State Department of Agriculture.

Animal rights and humane groups fear the law would strip them of power and funding.

“It does limit the power of the animal control officer and what they can do when they arrive on the scene,” Steven Tears, Executive Director of the Montgomery Humane Society, told Alabama News Network.

The law would also bring misdemeanor charges against anyone who files a false animal abuse claim. Senator Williams declined to speak on camera, but says he has received threats and aggressive backlash over the bill.

Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, said he is aware of the concern behind the bill, ” I’ve got a lot of animal rights folks in my district who have called me. “I received calls last night from the Humane Society in Birmingham.”

Humane groups are concerned that the bill would strip them of power and funds, while discouraging people from reporting animal abuse: “I would like to think there was the best of intentions when writing it. I’m just not sure what they are. I’m not even sure what it was meant to accomplish,” Tears explained.

Marsh said the bill will be on hold until the language and intent can be worked out.

“There’s a lot of work to be done, a lot of questions to be asked. That bill, for right now, is not moving anywhere.”

Categories: News, Statewide