Week of 3/27/17
Props with one correction to Franklin Clark for Monday’s piece in Central Kentucky News-Journal: Bestiality bills die in legislative session. It looks like Clark reached out to Kentucky Farm Bureau, Kentucky Houndsmen, two Republican legislators, plus ASPCA and HSUS. Amazingly, only the Houndsmen were unavailable for comment.
Jeff Hoover’s spokesperson went on record saying the short 2017 session was reserved for “serious, economy-related bills” — does the House Speaker think sexual assault doesn’t deserve to be taken as seriously as, say, protecting the rights of students to distribute political leaflets on school grounds? (Yeah, that one passed.) One correction though: Clark reports that first degree animal cruelty happens “when a person makes four-legged animals fight for pleasure or profit.” That’s a forgivable mistake, given that Kentucky’s animal cruelty law outlawed countless forms of animal fighting for over 30 years. In the 2016 session, however, the General Assembly stripped the KRS of everything but dog-on-dog fighting.
The Nevada legislature waited until the final day to introduce a bill that would outlaw animal sexual assault in NV. If it passes, the measure would make bestiality a gross misdemeanor, unless the animal suffers serious injury, in which case the crime becomes a felony.
A man was arrested and charged in Arizona last week after he allegedly engaged in what one journalist terms “full on sexual intercourse” with a family’s pet goat. Luckily, Arizona’s bestiality law is not restricted to sexual assault upon dogs and cats. (The Kentucky General Assembly briefly considered a bill that would have made bestiality a crime, but only if it involved a cat or dog.)
And how about one more victory lap for the bestiality ban that went into effect last week in Ohio? Raping an animal in the Buckeye State can land you in jail for up to 90 days with a $750 fine and a second-degree misdemeanor conviction on your record. So in the eyes of Ohio’s criminal code, bestiality is better than carrying a gun without a permit (a first degree misdemeanor), but worse than painting graffiti on a mass transit bus (a third degree misdemeanor). Also, the new law allows telecommunications companies unrestricted rights-of-way, a provision dozens of Ohio cities are now challenging in court.