The Five Most Important Proposed New Laws for Florida Animal Lovers

Categories: Politicks
greyhounds.jpg
Florida is a pretty horrible place to be an animal. That's due at least in part to the great conglomeration of weirdos and cretins here, of course, but stone-age animal cruelty laws have a lot to do with it as well. A few Florida senators have done their part by proposing bills that would go a long way in increasing animal welfare in this state. And one special lawmaker -- take a bow, Jim Norman -- is headed full speed in the opposite direction. Here are five 2012 bills every Florida animal lover should know about and their current status in the Florida Senate.

1. "Animal Abuse Registry," by New Port Richey Sen. Mike Fasano
This is probably the most radical bill of the bunch. Called "Dexter's Law," it would treat convicted animal abusers like sex offenders, making them re-register when they move and pay an annual administrative fee, or be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
Status: Awaiting vote.

2. "Pari-mutuel Wagering," by Delray Sen. Maria Sachs, Destin Sen. Don Gaetz, and Apalachicola Sen. Bill Montford
As illustrated in New Times' 2009 feature story on the subject, Florida's backwards gambling laws keep the brutal greyhound racing industry alive by requiring establishments to hold a certain amount of dog races in order to have slots and poker games. This bill would finally get rid of that requirement.
Status: Received a 6-4 favorable tally in last subcommittee vote.

3. "Shark Fins," by Bradenton Sen. Mike Bennett
To get shark fins-- an Asian delicacy served in soup -- fisherman slice off the appendage and throw the living animal back into the water to slowly die. Though U.S. vessels are banned from finning, foreign-registered vessels aren't banned. This law would have made Florida the fifth state -- after Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and California -- to prohibit outright the possession, sale and distribution of shark fins.
Status: The bill was withdrawn from consideration on January 17.

4. "Animal Fighting or Baiting," by Miami Gardens Sen. Oscar Braynon and Sen. Montford
This might as well be titled the Michael Vick Bill. The wide-ranging law would increase penalties for staging or being a spectator for any animal fighting and baiting. It would criminalize the possession of animal fighting paraphernalia -- such as "slat mills, treadmills, cat mills, jennys, rape stands, spring poles, flirt poles, break sticks, supplements, drugs, or scales".
Status: Awaiting vote.

5. "Agriculture," by Tampa Sen. Jim Norman
Probably the most backwards bill in the current legislature, the so-called "ag-gag" bill would have made it illegal to film animal abuse at farms and slaughterhouses. Norman openly admitted to sponsoring the bill at the behest of an egg farmer.
Status: After widespread derision, the bill was recently shot down by lawmakers.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
Nanci Little
Nanci Little

You can thank the Cubans and the Republicans they support.. they cannot think for themselves and vote in a block.. and thus vote for all of the lying Republicans that say they 'hate Castro' ( they pander to the Cubans and say all those ridiculous but tough sounding soundbites)  Republicans are famous for voting DOWN every animal welfare law that comes in front of them and FOR every factory farm, breed specific ban, puppy mill, religions that want to drip poor tortured animals' blood all over their church (nice and fresh), racetracks, slaughterhouses for horses, etc.

Hannah Sentenac
Hannah Sentenac

Excellent round-up Gus! I would also suggest the inclusion of two bills that are crucial for our state's homeless dogs and cats. First, there's the Florida Animal Rescue Act (HB 818, SB 597), a bill that would make it illegal for a shelter to kill an animal that a rescue group is willing to save. It's common sense legislation that would save lives and taxpayer dollars. (www.floridarescueact.com)Additionally, there's a bill that looks to strike down Miami-Dade's ridiculously ineffective 20-year breed ban against "pit bulls" (HB 997). Years ago, Florida passed legislation making breed bans illegal, but unfortunately, Miami's ban was grandfathered in. It has not accomplished anything other than the unnecessary killing of thousands of innocent animals, many of whom were wrongly classified as "pit bulls" by under-trained shelter employees. Animal welfare experts have ALL come out against these bans (Ohio, a state notoriously bad for animals, just struck down their ban), and instead support reckless owner/dangerous dog laws that are far more effective. (http://blogs.bestfriends.org/i... of these bills are monumentally important for protecting the lives of shelter pets in our state.

guest
guest

Brutal Greyhound Racing Industry???? Glad to see you really practiced impartial journalism here......Keep listening to the out of state anti-gambling lobbying group Grey2K!!!  While they are sucking money out of your pocket be sure to know they do NOTHING for the greyhounds they claim to  so dearly love......If greyhound racing ends and thousand of working dogs, owners, breeders, handlers, track employees are out of work, can we all come eat and stay with you Gus Garcia Roberts??? 

BobPatel4
BobPatel4

Brutal Greyhound racing industry? By who's account? Grey2k? This out of state anti-gambling lobby group continues to stick its nose in Florida's business. They continue to lie and misrepresent the facts to further their anti-gambling agenda.

Loversandfriends68
Loversandfriends68

its sad when our governing body doesnt see animals as living, breathing beings with feelings...instead they only see the $$$$ from the corporations and gaming that want these awful things to continue.....im sure many of these law makers have animals and children, wonder how they would explain to their children if their pet was taken and used for one of these awful things, but wait they would have something done about that because their pet is important, all the rest are just throw aways....shame.... shame......

Deborah
Deborah

How could anyone not vote against animal abuse of any kind??? I hope all these laws are passed.I lived at Park Coloney Apartments in Hollywood Fl. for a year and there is a Cat colony there. I rescued and fed many homeless cats that would come to my door. I approached the Manager in the office after I was told that they were trapping the Cats and sending them to a death sentence at the Humane Society. I had several pepole that were willing to help with a TNR effort to prevent more reproduceing. They just blew me off and said I was not allowed back on the property once I moved.It would be great if you would do a story on this colony !!!!!! Contact me!!!!  

Guest
Guest

No. We'll lock them up in the same cages as the poor greyts are 24/7 and feed them subpar dog food. You must be a track employee or in the industry. For your information Grey2K is WONDERFUL and your stupid industry PAID FOR THE PRESIDENT'S LAW DEGREE BY SENDING HER TO SCHOOL!!!! Sweeter justice was never found! END GREYHOUND RACING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lucia Rogers
Lucia Rogers

 It's ironic to see someone accusing a journalist of restating talking points, then using the exact same industry-driven talking points as all the other industry lobbyists. Grey2K is based in a different state...clearly you've proven that they are wrong about everything. Clearly there are not several severe -- often fatal -- injuries every week on every track. Clearly the state should keep running dogs into the ground, just to keep you people employed. (We should also legalize the sale of cocaine to children, to keep your cousins employed, right?)

This bill is heavily supported by the people who own and operate the tracks. The casinos and cardrooms are doing quite well. They employ way more people than the track sides of the operation. When you work in a moribund industry, sometimes your job abusing animals goes away.

Evelyn042559
Evelyn042559

ANIMAL CRUELTY/ABUSE it is What it its!!!!! THERE SHOULD BE LAWS AGAINST ANIMAL/OTHER LIVING BEINGS CRUELTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See facebook page (Help Fight the WAR Against All Animal Cruelty Today) n "like" the page to comment on post on what is happening to animals all over this sinfull savage world today.

Guest
Guest

And thank God Grey2KUSA does!! It has successfully closed dozens of greyhound tracks in the nation and CAN'T WAIT FOR THEM TO CLOSE HERE!!

Guest
Guest

Deborah: Contact Cats Exclusive in Margate and The Cat Network in Miami. Both will help you make a presentation to the condo management company. TNR works. Eradication doesn't. More only move in to fill the void. Dr. Julie Levy of the U. of FL in Gainesville has wonderful scientific studies/proof of this. Education is what's needed.

dueceswild
dueceswild

Deborah, All I have to say to you is this. Read what they were trying to pass for a law on the #5 one. This law if passed, would make it a crime for animal investagators to film animal abuse or illegal slaughter houses. It would make it easer for the illegal slaughter houses to keep working. I for one, am glad it was shot down.

Crystal
Crystal

You need to read number 5 that would be a horrible law to pass. If it had then the abuisers would never be caught.

Guest
Guest

The author wrote #5 is the worse of the bills and was implemented at the behest of an egg farmer. Of course they want to protect their own abusive practices and $$$. Thankfully both national and local humane groups are lobbing legislators NOT to pass it. It's a tough battle tho given their multimillion dollar factory farms. That's why when people advocate against the HSUS and similar for not having animal shelters that's NOT why they exist. They exist to help pass better laws governing and protecting all animals both pets and farmed. The author merely reported on a pending bill he is NOT advocating for it. No one who's an animal lover wants #5 to pass but 1-4 are damned good.

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...