by Senator Gene Davis
Senate Minority Whip
Each session I receive hundreds of email from constituents requesting my support on issues of concern to them. If these email are any indication of the importance of a bill, then SB 190 must be passed.
For the past two years, there have been strong efforts to pass an animal cruelty bill, but those efforts met with little success. Each year the bill has failed, the intensity and pressure to pass the bill has increased. In 2006 that pressure increased after the misdemeanor conviction of Mark Vincent. Henry, a dog abused by Vincent, has become the poster animal of the campaign supporting the animal cruelty bill. In 2007 support for an animal cruelty bill is stronger than ever. As research linking animal cruelty and domestic violence becomes more conclusive, the need for this bill grows.
This year the bill was started in the Senate to address the concerns that hindered the bill in years past. I have been working with individuals in the agricultural sector and others to resolve concerns and refine the bill. With the help of many dedicated people, and despite some setbacks, I feel confident Utah will join 41 states that have already taken steps to make animal cruelty a felony offense.
SB190 passed in the Senate last Friday with the support of the majority of rural legislators voting “aye.” It will now be considered in the House of Representatives.