STATE NEWS: Oregon Bills to Crack Down on Animal Crime

June 2, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

Three bills landed on the Oregon governor’s desk this week asking for the state to enforce stiffer penalties against those who commit crimes against animals.

House Bills 2625, 3177, and 3283, all of which will impose stricter penalties for animal crimes in Oregon, have all passed in the Oregon Senate and House of Representatives and may soon be signed into law by the governor.

Three Democratic senators—Floyd Prozanski, James Manning, and Michael Dembrow—each introduced a bill to the Senate.

“Cruelty and abuse to animals—whether out of anger, sick entertainment or for financial gain—is reprehensible and there is no place for it in any society at any point in time,” Prozanski said. “When someone abuses or neglects animals, those animals should be removed from harmful, neglectful and abusive situations.”

Each of the bills focuses on a distinct aspect of animal cruelty.

House Bill 2625

Carried By: Sen. Prozanski

This bill would allow counties or animal care agencies to pursue forfeiture of animals that are seized after neglect or abuse has been found, regardless of whether any criminal charges involve those animals specifically.

House Bill 3177

Carried By: Sen. Manning

This bill would authorize the seizure and forfeiture of both hens and chicks used in connection with cockfighting operations. It expands current legislation to include “source birds,” which are other birds that may be intended to produce or become fighting birds.

House Bill 3283

Carried By: Sen. Dembrow

This bill would increase the amount of time from 5 years to 15 years that those convicted of felony animal neglect would be restricted from owning an animal of the same type that was neglected.

“When someone shows neglect—either through willfulness or unconscious negligence—they should not be able to put another animal in that situation,” Dembrow said. “It makes no sense to allow them to have another animal so soon after they have been convicted of failing or choosing not to care properly for the animals in their care.”