The recent veto over-ride by the Missouri State Legislative of Senate Bill 9 will enact changes to the state’s animal abuse and neglect laws. As part of the legislation, it will now be considered a felony to steal cattle.
Senator David Pearce is a Republican representing Missouri’s 14th district. He says it was important for the Bill to be passed to provide protection for livestock owners.
“Right now, someone can be arrested for animal abuse and neglect mainly if their livestock gets out for even a minute. So we somewhat tightened that up and made animal trespassing just animal trespassing, not abuse and neglect,” said Pearce.
The decision, which saw Bill 9 become one of ten vetoed Bills to be overridden during Wednesday’s session, was met with cautious optimism by some. Some animal groups are saying that it may have unintended and negative consequences.
“It appears that it will take away the authority for animal control in many of the rural counties, especially,” Bob Baker, executive director for the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, said. “Although we’re being reassured there are other avenues that they can use to pursue that. But as of now, it does strip the word ‘control’ out of our cruelty statutes.”
The Bill was originally vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon on July 2.