BILL SIGNED: Thank you Governor Inslee!

SB 5501 Section 7 Veto banner 72 dpi

** UPDATE:  Governor Inslee signed SB 5501 into law and vetoed the troublesome “Section 7”.  We are grateful for his support of this legislation! **

Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5501 overall will help strengthen our animal cruelty laws.  But it has one section – Section 7 – that does the opposite and creates opportunities for animal cruelty and neglect to go unpunished.  We’ve come too far to go back now.

Section 7 was added on the house floor as a last-minute amendment. Section 7 exempts farmed animals from the entire animal cruelty statute (Chapter 16.52 RCW).

Section 7 will eliminate protections under current law for abused and neglected farmed animals owned by backyard “farmers” and hobbyists – leaving these animals totally vulnerable and unprotected.

 Law enforcement and animal control officers encounter abuse and neglect of animals every day. It is common to find horses, cows, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, ducks and other animals in squalor, starving, without water, and with untreated, serious medical conditions.

Under current law, law enforcement and animal control officers can protect these animals and hold abusers accountable. However, if Section 7 of SB 5501 becomes law, then animal cruelty and neglect will go unaddressed and unpunished.  

TAKE ACTION: Urge Governor Inslee to VETO SECTION 7 of SB 5501 and sign the remainder of the bill into law.

  1. Call his office:  360-902-4111
  2. Email Governor Inslee 

(Sample Email)

Dear Governor Inslee,

I am writing to urge you to VETO SECTION 7 of SB 5501 and pass the remainder of the bill into law.  While the majority of this bill strengthens our animal cruelty laws and reflects our values as a society, Section 7 does the opposite. 

Section 7 will eliminate protections under current law for abused and neglected farmed animals owned by backyard “farmers” and hobbyists – leaving these animals totally vulnerable and unprotected.

Under current law, law enforcement and animal control officers can protect these animals and hold abusers accountable. However, if Section 7 of SB 5501 becomes law, then animal cruelty and neglect will go unaddressed and unpunished.

Section 7 does not reflect our values as a society.  Please stand up for animals and VETO Section 7!

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

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MORE INFORMATION

Read the full SB 5501 here.  A summary of the improvements that SB 5501 would make include:

  • It modifies the definition of animal cruelty in the first degree to include, unless otherwise allowed by law, the act of intentionally killing or causing substantial pain or injury to an animal while manifesting an extreme indifference to life.
  • It keeps children and animals safe by making it illegal to cause a minor to participate in organized animal fighting activities, while broadening protection to prohibit organized fights between any animals, not just between dogs and between male chickens.
  • It prohibits the unsafe confinement of animals by specifying the conditions under which officers may remove animals confined in extreme temperatures; limits officers’ liability for property damage when damage results from authorized removal of animals; and creates a class 2 civil infraction penalty.

Section 7 will eliminate protections under current law for abused and neglected farmed animals owned by backyard “farmers” and hobbyists – leaving these animals totally vulnerable and unprotected.

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