SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. (WTVQ) – The Animal Legal Defense Fund has rated Kentucky at the very bottom of the country when it comes to animal protection laws in their 2016 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings.
The annual report comprehensively surveys animal protection laws of all U.S. states and territories and ranks the strength of each jurisdiction’s animal protection laws by examining over 4,000 pages of statutes.
This is the tenth year in a row that Kentucky has ranked 50th in the report. Iowa, Wyoming, Utah and North Dakota round out the bottom five, while Rhode Island, California, Maine, Oregon, and Illinois take the top five, in ascending order.
The report cites a number of areas for improvement in Kentucky’s animal protection laws, including the following:
- Kentucky Felony provisions are available only for cruelty and fighting, both against only select animals;
- There are no felony provisions for neglect or abandonment;
- The state has inadequate definitions/standards of basic care;
- There are no increased penalties when abuse is committed in the presence of a minor or involves multiple animals;
- Kentucky offers no mental health evaluations or counseling for offenders;
- There is no statutory authority to allow protective orders to include animals;
- There is no cost mitigation or recovery provisions for impounded animals;
- The state offers no court‐ordered forfeiture provisions;
- There are no restrictions on future ownership or possession of animals following a conviction;
- Kentucky offers no provisions for select non‐animal‐related agencies/professionals to report suspected animal abuse;
- Veterinarians are prohibited from reporting suspected cruelty or fighting;
- The report says humane officers lack broad law enforcement authority;
- There are no provisions for sexual assault;
- The state has “inadequate” animal fighting provisions.
To read the full report, click here.