BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2012
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 20, 2010
          Chief Counsel:      Gregory Pagan


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                  AB 2012 (Lieu) - As Introduced:  February 17, 2010
                       As Proposed to be Amended in Committee


           SUMMARY  :   Increases the misdemeanor penalty from up to six  
          months in the county jail to up to one year in the county jail  
          for any person who overloads, overworks, denies sustenance,  
          cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills any animal, and  
          whoever having custody of an animal, either as owner or  
          otherwise, subjects an animal to needless suffering or inflicts  
          unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any manner abuses any  
          animal, or fails to provide an animal with proper food, drink,  
          or shelter or proper protection from the weather.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides that every person who maliciously and intentionally  
            maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal or  
            maliciously and intentionally kills an animal is guilty of  
            either a misdemeanor or felony, punishable by imprisonment in  
            a county jail for up to one year and/or by a fine up to  
            $20,000, or by imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, 2  
            or 3 years and/or a fine up to $20,000.  [Penal Code Section  
            597(a).]

          2)States that every person who overdrives, overloads, overworks,  
            tortures, torments, deprives of drink, cruelly beats, or  
            mutilates an animal is guilty of either a misdemeanor or  
            felony, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to  
            six months and/or by a fine up to $20,000, or by imprisonment  
            in state prison for 16 months, 2 or 3 years and/or a fine up  
            to $20,000.  [Penal Code Section 597(b).]

          3)Provides that every person who maliciously and intentionally  
            maims, mutilates, or tortures any mammal, bird, reptile,  
            amphibian, or fish is guilty of either a misdemeanor or  
            felony, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to  
            one year and/or by a fine up to $20,000, or by imprisonment in  








                                                                  AB 2012
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            state prison for 16 months, 2 or 3 years and/or a fine up to  
            $20,000.  [Penal Code Section 597(c).]

          4)Provides that any person that does any of the following is  
            guilty of a felony and is punishable by imprisonment in a  
            state prison for 16 months, 2 or 3 years, or by a fine not to  
            exceed $50,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment:

             a)   Owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any dog, with the  
               intent that the dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of  
               fighting with another dog;

             b)   For amusement or gain, causes any dog to fight with  
               another dog, or causes any dogs to injure each other; or,

             c)   Permits any of the above acts to be done on any premises  
               under his or her control, or aid or abets that act.  [Penal  
               Code Section 597.5(a).]

          5)States that any person that is knowingly present, as a  
            spectator, at any place, building, or tenement where  
            preparations are being made for an exhibition of the fighting  
            of dogs, with the intent to be present at those preparations,  
            or is knowingly present at the exhibition, fighting or  
            injuring with the intent to be present at the exhibition,  
            fighting, or injuring is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by  
            imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year , or by a  
            fine not exceeding $5,000; or by both.  [Penal Code Section  
            597.5(b).]

          6)Provides that any person who causes any animal, not including  
            a dog, to fight with another animal, or permits the same to be  
            done on any property under his or her control, or aids or  
            abets the fighting of any animal is guilty of a misdemeanor,  
            punishable by up to one year in the county jail or by a fine  
            not to exceed $5,000; or both.  [Penal Code Section 597b(a).]

          7)Provides that any person who causes a cock to fight with  
            another cock, or permits the same to be done on any property  
            under his or her control, and any person who aid or abets the  
            fighting of any cock or is present as a spectator is guilty of  
            a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail  
            not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed $5,000, or  
            by both.  [Penal Code Section 597b(b).]









                                                                  AB 2012
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          8)Provides that any person who is knowingly present as a  
            spectator at any place, building, or tenement for an  
            exhibition of animal fighting, or who is knowingly present at  
            that exhibition, or is knowingly present where preparations  
            are being made for the exhibition, fighting, or injuring of an  
            animal is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment  
            in a county jail not to exceed six months, or by a fine not  
            exceeding $1,000, or by both.  (Penal Code Section 597c.)

          9)Provides that any person who owns, possesses, keeps or trains  
            any bird or other animal with the intent that that it be used  
            an exhibition of fighting is guilty of a misdemeanor,  
            punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed  
            one year; by a fine not to exceed $5,000, or by both.  (Penal  
            Code Section 597j.)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   According to the author, "Animal abuse is a serious  
          concern, and the awareness for this disturbing crime is growing.  
           Although there is a particular focus on protecting animal  
          welfare, there is also a disparity in current law surrounding  
          the issue.
           
           "Animal abuse is separated into two main categories: animal  
          cruelty and animal neglect.  Animal cruelty generally refers to  
          a single act of cruelty on an animal, while animal neglect is  
          defined as an act that causes extended or prolonged suffering.   
          While animal neglect can be considered a horribly egregious  
          offense inflicting extensive distress to an animal, the  
          associated penalty for the crime is inconsistent with that for  
          animal cruelty.

          "Cases of animal neglect are prevalent, and it occurs when one  
          deprives an animal of basic needs, including shelter, nutrition,  
          and medical care.  In a study of 1,400 animal cruelty cases  
          conducted by the Humane Society, 41 percent of the cases  
          involved animal neglect.  This overwhelming number reiterates  
          the importance of protecting animals from neglect as well as  
          cruelty.

          "Whether animals are tortured or starved, too often the end  
          result in either case is death.  In cases of neglect, the abuse  
          is more prolonged and the neglected animal ends up slowly  
          decaying and suffering due to starvation, dehydration, and/or  








                                                                  AB 2012
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          disease."

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
          SPCA LA

           Opposition 
           
          None
           

          Analysis Prepared by :    Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916)  
          319-3744