Tougher Ohio Animal Cruelty Law Proposed

In light of recently released video footage by an undercover investigation of the abuse of cows on a central Ohio dairy farm, HB 55 was introduced and passed in the Ohio House; the bill awaits Senate action. The bill would make cruelty to farm animals a first-degree misdemeanor on the second criminal offense and would entail punishment of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The crime is currently a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. Under current Ohio law, cruelty to a companion animal is a first degree misdemeanor on the first offense and a fifth degree felony on the second offense. [See Ohio Revised Code 959.99(E)(1)].