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Senate Passes Farm Bill; Makes Attending an Animal Fight a Federal Crime

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speee1dy
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here is another thought, are we as pet owners just as bad? not an argument but an interesting question. because technically we are "enslaving" the animals.

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Posted : February 12, 2014 6:50 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

things that make you go hmmm......

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Posted : February 12, 2014 7:46 pm
janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member

here is another thought, are we as pet owners just as bad? not an argument but an interesting question. because technically we are "enslaving" the animals.

In our house the 4 legged residents have totally enslaved the 2 legged ones

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Posted : February 12, 2014 8:14 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

here is another thought, are we as pet owners just as bad? not an argument but an interesting question. because technically we are "enslaving" the animals.

In our house the 4 legged residents have totally enslaved the 2 legged ones

I have to agree....here too (as my cat is nibbling at me to come feed him)

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Posted : February 12, 2014 8:30 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

here too, we are the slaves to their master.

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Posted : February 12, 2014 9:13 pm
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member

here is another thought, are we as pet owners just as bad? not an argument but an interesting question. because technically we are "enslaving" the animals.

Ahhh the dangerous line between animal RIGHTS, and animal WELFARE.

this statement clearly is in the animal "RIGHTS" vein, since animals have no rights they cannot be considered slaves, so we are safe; for now.

Peta would have animal RIGHTS instated, no pets owned by anyone.... I'm an animal welfare advocate, I spend most of my days with my pets or the various rescue animals on my property (16 horses, 2 goats, 4 cats, 5 dogs; I'm an equal opportunity improvement enthusiast) I know the damage animal RIGHTS would do to the domesticated animals that have become dependent on mankind, you'll never see me confuse the two.

I consider myself a benevolent dictator, not an owner 😉

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Posted : February 12, 2014 10:58 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I don't consider my animals as owned just caretaken. Don't like the "owned" terminology since all of my animals have found me on thier own and decided to adopt me as their caretaker. No much choice on my part as they just show up and decide, hey, this looks like a nice place, let's see if she'll feed us!;)

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Topic starter Posted : February 13, 2014 1:28 am
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Our cats have a cushier life and enjoy more of our new house than we do. Combine that with wet premium (no grain) food twice a day and daily litter box service, two beds to choose to sleep on, three cat towers, two tall scratching posts, a lanai view of birds and frogs and lots of sunshine, bowls of catnip and the occasional romp "outside the perimeter," and I wouldn't say that they are "owned." I think of them more as residing at a kitty spa 24/7.

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Posted : February 13, 2014 1:58 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
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The majority of pet care givers do not raise nor allow their animals to be trained to fight to the death, mutilated and killed for blood sports to satisfy warped minds and pockets. These blood sports have been made illegal in the USA - for a very good reason and laws inacted to protect animals from being abused in this horrible fashion.

Once again our leadership lets us down and will continue to do so while the barbaric cruelties continue. They don't care, do you?

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Topic starter Posted : February 13, 2014 11:49 am
crazyflamingo
(@crazyflamingo)
Advanced Member

No much choice on my part as they just show up and decide, hey, this looks like a nice place, let's see if she'll feed us!;)

This sounds like my house! I don't "own" cats, they "own" me and my cats are sooooo spoiled! Shortly before I was set to move out of my stateside house, a cat showed up on my doorstep and adopted my house as hers. Turns out she had a ton of medical issues and needed surgery. She definitely picked the right house because I postponed my move to St John to get her healthy. She's such a sweet cat and gets along really well with my other 2. Tentatively my new move date is July of this year, pending her next check-ups go well. And in case anyone who reads this is wondering, yes I found out who had her originally and they did not want her back.

The majority of pet care givers do not raise nor allow their animals to be trained to fight to the death, mutilated and killed for blood sports to satisfy warped minds and pockets. These blood sports have been made illegal in the USA - for a very good reason and laws inacted to protect animals from being abused in this horrible fashion.

Once again our leadership lets us down and will continue to do so while the barbaric cruelties continue. They don't care, do you?

Unfortunately many of the stateside laws still don't do enough IMO. For example, here in Maryland the maximum penalty is up to 3 years in prison and/or up to $5000 fine for animal cruelty, including dog fighting and cock fighting. Attending one of these fights is up to 1 year in prison and/or up to $2500 fine.

http://www.apainc.org/files/DDF/Maryland%20Animal%20Cruelty%20Summary%202.pdf

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Posted : February 13, 2014 1:44 pm
speee1dy
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crazyflamingo, your pets might not be allowed in cargo depending on the temps of all airports you will be at and also some breeds are no longer accepted on american. just an FYI

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Posted : February 13, 2014 8:20 pm
crazyflamingo
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Advanced Member

Speee1dy,
Thanks for the reminder. All 3 of my pets are cats so they will be in the cabin, not cargo area. After my newest gets a clean bill of health, I will be calling the airline to book our tickets and confirm the airlines pet policies so they can fly in July without a problem.

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:15 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Speee1dy,
Thanks for the reminder. All 3 of my pets are cats so they will be in the cabin, not cargo area. After my newest gets a clean bill of health, I will be calling the airline to book our tickets and confirm the airlines pet policies so they can fly in July without a problem.

You do have two other people carrying cats too, right? It's one in-cabin pet per person. Also there is a maximum on the number of in-cabin pets (I believe 8 if I remember right) so book ahead to get your spot.

You may have this info already but just wanted to be helpful. We just traveled back with our brood of 5, and it was an experience...about the closest my husband and I have ever come to divorce, ha ha! 😀

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:20 pm
crazyflamingo
(@crazyflamingo)
Advanced Member

When I was originally suppose to relocate last year, I only had 2 cats and the airline told me that as long as I purchased an extra seat ticket and paid the pet fees, I could fly by myself with 2 pets. But last year I had a friend who was going to fly with me to help with the cats so it wouldn't be an issue. I will confirm with the airline when I call them about purchasing tickets. I don't know if my friend will be able to fly with me this year like originally planned. I do already have arrangements made to have someone cat-sit for a few months if I can't bring them all at one time.

I really appreciate all of the advice and info! Thank you!

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:37 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

I just checked American's website again to be sure -

It says "One in-cabin pet per ticketed passenger." Unsure if you buy two tickets if they will allow you to have an extra pet. It reads to me that there actually has to be a passenger per pet.

Also the in-cabin maximum is 7.

http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInformation/specialAssistance/travelingWithPets.jsp

I didn't look at JetBlue. 🙂

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:46 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

I guess I could put this thread back on topic by mentioning the time we flew to PR and the man next to us had his fighting cocks in a pet carrier to travel on the plane with us. They crowed the whole flight!

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Posted : February 13, 2014 9:47 pm
crazyflamingo
(@crazyflamingo)
Advanced Member

The AA representative I spoke to last year said I could buy 2 tickets along with the pet fees, but it had to be done over the phone not booked online. I'll call them when I'm ready to book my tickets to see what they say this year.

Its amazing how quickly things can go off topic. Sorry! Back to the original topic.....

I guess I could put this thread back on topic by mentioning the time we flew to PR and the man next to us had his fighting cocks in a pet carrier to travel on the plane with us. They crowed the whole flight!

I can't imagine listening to them crow the whole flight and knowing what their fate was. The poor birds. 🙁

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Posted : February 13, 2014 10:18 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Can we get back to main topic or PM each other on this? - No offense.

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Topic starter Posted : February 13, 2014 10:24 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

I think we already are back to the topic? See the post above yours.

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Posted : February 14, 2014 4:19 am
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member

I can't imagine listening to them crow the whole flight and knowing what their fate was. The poor birds. 🙁

Pshh, I know guys in Williams Delight that have 50 fighting birds in their back yard.... I can't imagine how they sleep, I have 1 rooster in my area and it drives me crazy...

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Posted : February 14, 2014 6:09 am
Alana33
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Expert

Update: 4,000 Birds Seized in Largest Cockfighting Bust in NY State:
http://www.aspca.org/blog/update-4000-birds-seized-in-largest-cockfighting-bust-in-ny-state?ms=em_new_sp_blogpost-birdsseized-20140214&initialms=em_new_sp_blogpost-birdsseized-20140214&utm_source=newsalertemail_20140214&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsalert

Earlier this week, we told you about our support of a massive cockfighting bust that spanned three counties in New York State. At the request of the New York State Attorney General's Office, the ASPCA is still on the ground at an Ulster County farm, assisting with the removal, transport and sheltering of as many as 4,000 fighting roosters.

While our responders establish a temporary shelter, where the birds will be cared for and housed pending court disposition, law enforcement officers have arrested three individuals associated with the farm, where birds allegedly destined for cockfights, were bred and trained. The owner of the property was apprehended in south Florida, and according to investigators and an article in the New York Times, has operated an extensive cockfighting pipeline for years.

Several other arrests were made on Saturday night when investigators busted a cockfight in Queens and raided a pet shop in Brooklyn. Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states. In New York, cockfighting and possession of a fighting bird at a cockfighting location are felonies, with each charge carrying a maximum penalty of four years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Stay tuned to ASPCA.org/blog for more news to come—and please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today. Together we can rescue more animals from lives of suffering and abuse.

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Topic starter Posted : February 14, 2014 4:33 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I wrote all 15 senators about coming into the 21st century and banning cockfighting as well as updating our current animal abuse and cruelty laws and enforcement. Must we continue to cater to small minds, base desires, indefensible cruelty and barbarism to win a couple of votes here and there? There is no way to disguise or package cruelty and barbarism nor allow it to continue.

Speak out and let us come into the 21st Century and update our Animal Cruelty Laws.
Here are the Senators e-mails if you wish instead of complaining on this forum in a post to speak out and help get this barbarism stopped.

info@judibuckely.com;
dcapehart@legvi.org;
dcole@legvi.org,
kgittens@legvi.org,
cgraham@legvi.org,
ahansen@legvi.org,
mjackson@legvi.org,
senatormalone@gmail.com, also smmalone1@yahoo.com,
troach@legvi.org,
cpayne@legvi.org,
teamnellie@gmail.com,
jyoung@legvi.org,
payne.clarence@gmail.com,
sammuelsanes@yahoo.com,
positive__1@hotmail.com
craig@visenate.org,
edorsett@legvi.org (think this guy answers for Hansen)

Thank you in advance to those that actually will do this!
WE can make a difference!

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Topic starter Posted : March 7, 2014 4:42 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

TITLE FOURTEEN Crimes
Chapter 7. Animals and Birds

14 V.I.C. § 180 (2013)

§ 180. Definitions

The following terms, wherever used or referenced in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

(a) "Adequate care" means the provision of adequate food, clean water, shelter, sanitary conditions, exercise, rest, and veterinary medical attention in order to maintain the animalin a state of good health.

(b) "Adequate food" means the provision, at suitable intervals, of wholesome foodstuff, suitable for the species and age of the animal and adequate to maintain a reasonable level of nutrition to allow for proper growth and weight in the animal, all of which foodstuff is served in a safe clean dish or container.

(c) "Animal" means any non-human mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian but does not include any pest that might be exterminated.

(d) "Animal impound" means any premises designated by the Commissioner of Agriculture, or his designated agent, for the purpose of impounding and caring for animals.

(e) "To cause or permit unjustifiable pain" includes overloading, overworking, overdriving, over exercising, tormenting, unjustifiably beating or cruelly whipping an animal, using a disabled animal, maliciously abandoning or restraining an animal.

(f) "Humane society" and "animal shelter" mean a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the Virgin Islands as a humane society or shelter, or as a society or shelter for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

(g) "Maliciously" means intentionally acting with a depravity of mind or reckless and wanton disregard for life.

(h) "Neglect" means to fail to sufficiently and properly care for an animal to the extent that the animal's health is jeopardized.

(i) "Owner" means any person that (1) has a right of property in an animal, (2) keeps or harbors an animal, (3) has an animal in his care, or (4) acts as a custodian of ananimal.

(j) "Person" includes any individual, partnership, corporation or association.

(k) "Serious physical injury" means any injury that results in a serious or permanent impairment of a bodily function, leaves the animal disfigured or causes prolonged pain or impairment of health.

(l) "Shelter" means continuous and adequate protection from the elements, suitable for the age and species of animal and weather conditions, to maintain the animal in a state of good health, including appropriate space or provisions for adequate exercise.

(m) "State of good health" means freedom from disease and illness and in a condition of proper cleanliness, body weight, and temperature for the age and species of the animal,unless the animal is undergoing appropriate medical treatment.

(n) "Unnecessarily kills an animal" means an act that is not reasonably necessary to terminate an animal's suffering, to protect the life of the actor or another person or animal,or if other means of disposing of an animal exist which would not impair the health or well being of the animal.

(o) "Provision of adequate water" means provision of potable water made continuously available in a safe, clean dish, receptacle or container.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, pp. 142, 143; amended May 28, 2005, No. 6732, § 14(1), Sess. L. 2005, p. 153.

14 V.I.C. § 181 (2013)

§ 181. Animal abuse in the first degree

Any person who maliciously or unnecessarily:

(a) kills any animal; or

(b) tortures, maims, mutilates, disfigures, wounds, or inflicts unjustifiable pain on any animal; or

(c) forces, causes or induces a minor to maliciously or unnecessarily kill, torture, maim, mutilate; maliciously disfigure, wound or inflict unjustifiable pain on any animal; or

(d) causes or permits the cropping of any animal's ears or the docking of any animal's tail by a person other than a licensed veterinarian; or

(e) uses or traps to use domestic dogs, cats or any other animal as bait, prey or target or other malicious activities, including for the purpose of, but not limited to, training dogs or other animals to fight, excluding adult, male fowl used for the sport of cockfighting; or

(f) administers any poison to an animal or exposes any poisonous substance with the intent that the substance be taken or swallowed by the animal shall, for each offense, be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment not exceeding two (2) years and fined not less than $2,000, but not exceeding $5,000.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, pp. 143, 144; amended May 28, 2005, No. 6732, § 14(2), Sess. L. 2005, p. 153.

14 V.I.C. § 182 (2013)

§ 182. Animal abuse in the second degree

Any person who intentionally or knowingly:

(a) causes, permits or inflicts unjustifiable or repeated physical pain, suffering or injury to any animal; or

(b) leads any animal from any vehicle or from a trailer drawn by a motor vehicle in a malicious or negligent manner; or

(c) transports an animal in a malicious manner or causes an animal to be transported in a malicious manner that results in unreasonable pain and suffering; or

(d) maliciously kills, wounds or traps any bird; destroys any bird's nest; or removes any eggs or young birds from any nest shall, for every such offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment not exceeding one (1) year or a fine of $500.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, p. 144; amended May 28, 2005, No. 6732, § 14(3), Sess. L. 2005, p. 153.

14 V.I.C. § 183 (2013)

§ 183. Animal neglect in the first degree

Any person who intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently:

(a) fails to provide an animal in such person's custody or control with adequate care, and such failure causes serious physical injury or death to the animal; or

(b) abandons an animal or causes an animal to be abandoned in any place without making provisions for the animal's adequate care, unless the premises are temporarily vacated for the protection of human life during disaster; or

(c) disposes of any live animal at or into a dumpster or at any garbage disposal site; or

(d) allows an animal, including one who is aged, diseased, maimed, hopelessly sick, disabled or nonambulatory to suffer torture or unnecessary neglect or pain; or

(e) while operating a motor vehicle, hits or injures any animal and fails to make all reasonable efforts to contact the owner of the animal and otherwise attend to the animal's medical well-being; or

(f) confines an animal in a motor vehicle or other enclosed space in which the temperature is so high as to cause or threaten serious harm to the animal; shall, for every such offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $3,000 and up to 500 hours of community service.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, pp. 144, 145; amended May 28, 2005, No. 6732, § 14(4), Sess. L. 2005, p. 153.

14 V.I.C. § 184 (2013)

§ 184. Animal neglect in the second degree

(a) Any person who intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently fails to provide adequate care for an animal in such person's custody and such failure causes the animal needless suffering shall, for every such offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to one hundred (100) hours of community service.

(b) If any domestic animal is at any time confined and continues to be confined without necessary food and water for more than 24 consecutive hours, it is lawful for any person designated by the Department of Agriculture, or any peace officer from time to time, as may be considered necessary, to enter into and upon any pound or area in which the animal is confined, and supply it with necessary food and water so long as it remains so confined. Such a person is not liable for the entry and may collect the reasonable cost of the food and water from the owner of the animal, and the owner is subject to enforcement of a money judgment for the reasonable cost of such food and water.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, p. 145; amended May 28, 2005, No. 6732, § 14(5), Sess. L. 2005, p. 153.
14 V.I.C. § 185 (2013)

§ 185. Future animal custody and counseling

(a) If a person is convicted of any offense defined in sections 181, 182, 183 and 184 of this chapter, the court shall, in addition to any other sentence or penalty imposed, enter an order enjoining the person from acting as a custodian of any animal for a period of not less than five years from the date of sentence, or from the person's release from custody, if a term of custody is imposed, or for a greater period, up to twenty years, in the discretion of the court. To the extent that the duration of an order coincides with the term of, probation imposed, as a result of such conviction, a violation of an order shall be treated as a violation of probation, and punished as such; otherwise, any violation of an order shall be treated as criminal contempt of court and punished as such.

(b) (1) If a defendant is granted probation for a conviction under this section, the court shall order the defendant to pay for, and successfully complete, counseling as determined by the court, designed to evaluate and treat behavior or conduct disorders. If the court finds that the defendant is financially unable to pay for the counseling, the court may develop a sliding fee schedule based on the defendant's ability to pay. An indigent defendant may negotiate a deferred payment schedule, but shall pay a nominal fee, if the defendant has the ability to pay the nominal fee.

(2) The counseling specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be in addition to any other terms and conditions of probation, including any term of imprisonment and any fine.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, p. 146; amended May 28, 2005, No. 6732, § 14(6), (7), Sess. L. 2005, p. 153.

14 V.I.C. § 186 (2013)

§ 186. Animal Abuse Fund

(a) There is established a special fund in the Treasury of the Virgin Islands known as the Animal Abuse Fund, referred to as the "Fund". The Commissioner of Finance shall provide for the administration of the Fund as a separate fund in the Treasury of the Virgin Islands.

(b) The Fund consists of all sums appropriated thereto from time to time by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, all fines collected under sections 181, 182, 183 and 184 of this chapter, and such other monies, grants, contributions, gifts and bequests, federal or local, as may be made thereto that the Commissioner of Finance is hereby authorized to accept and deposit therein.

(c) There is appropriated from the General Fund in each fiscal year, a sum of not less than $100,000 to be deposited into the Fund for the purpose of implementing the provisions of this chapter.

(d) Monies in the Fund must be used solely for the purposes stated in this subsection and for no other purpose. The Commissioner of Finance shall disburse monies from the Fund solely for non-reimbursed expenses incurred by a Humane Society, Animal Shelter, licensed veterinarian, or animal impound pursuant to this chapter, and expenses for cruelty prevention or education programs.

(e) The Commissioner of Finance shall maintain a record of all monies deposited into and disbursed from the Fund and shall annually report to the Governor and the Legislature on the status of the Fund.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, pp. 146, 147.
14 V.I.C. § 187 (2013)

§ 187. Seizure

(a) Any employee of the Department of Agriculture appropriately designated by the Commissioner of Agriculture, any peace officer, animal warden or agent of a Humane Society or Animal Shelter designated by the Commissioner of Agriculture pursuant to title 19, section 2604 of the Virgin Islands Code, who becomes aware of any animal that the officer, warden or agent determines, in his sole discretion, to be an apparent victim of animal abuse or neglect as defined under this chapter, shall take possession of the animal and shall deliver the animal to a Humane Society, Animal Shelter, Animal Impound or licensed veterinarian to be sheltered, cared for and given medical attention, if necessary. If the animal is taken to a licensed veterinarian, the officer, warden or agent shall notify the appropriate Animal Shelter or Humane Society of that fact. Any employee of the Department of Agriculture appropriately designated by the Commissioner of Agriculture, peace officer, animal warden or agent of a Humane Society or Animal Shelter designated by the Commissioner of Agriculture pursuant to title 19, section 2604 of the Virgin Islands Code, acting pursuant to this section may take any action that such officer, warden or agent considers, in his sole discretion, reasonably necessary to seize such animal so endangered and to remove the threat of further harm to the animal, and no such officer, warden, veterinarian or agent, or his employers, or the Government of the Virgin Islands shall be liable for any harm or damages of whatever nature caused by such action or for any other action taken pursuant to this chapter.

(b) The veterinarian, animal warden or agent of a Humane Society, Animal Shelter, or animal impound receiving an animal from the Department of Agriculture pursuant to this section may humanely euthanize the animal, if such veterinarian, warden or agent, in his sole discretion, determines that the animal is injured or diseased past recovery, or that the animal's continued existence is inhumane and that euthananizing the animal is necessary to relieve pain or suffering.

(c) It is the duty of any veterinarian licensed in the Virgin Islands to report to the Police Department, Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture, any peace officer or other appropriate enforcement agency, any animal found, reasonably known or believed to be abandoned, neglected or abused as defined in this chapter, and such veterinarian is not subject to any civil or criminal liability for such reporting or for participating in an investigation of animal abuse or neglect, if done in good faith.

(d) If an animal seized under subsection (a) of this section is not euthanized pursuant to subsection (b), the Animal Shelter, Humane Society or animal impound in possession of the animal, or notified of a veterinarian's possession of the animal, shall make reasonable efforts to notify the owner or custodian of the animal of such seizure pursuant to the terms of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.

(1) If the identity and the mailing address of the custodian or owner are known, written notice of seizure shall be given and shall be deposited in the postal service, postage pre-paid and certified.

(2) The notice shall include all of the following:

(A) The name, business address, and telephone number of the officer providing the notice and the date of the notice.

(B) A description of the animal seized, including any identification upon the animal.

(C) The authority and purpose for the seizure, or impoundment, including the time, place, and circumstances under which the animal was seized.

(D) A statement that, in order to receive a post-seizure hearing, the owner or person authorized to keep the animal, or his agent, shall request the hearing pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsection (e) of this section.

(E) A statement that the cost of caring for and treating any animal properly seized under this section is a lien on the animal and that the animal shall not be returned to the owner until the charges are paid, and that failure to request or to attend a scheduled hearing shall result in liability for this cost.

(F) Notice is deemed accomplished three days after the mailing of the notice, and in no event may proof of receipt of such notice be required.

(G) If the identity of the custodian or owner is known, but the custodian or owner's mailing address is unknown, notice of seizure shall be given either by delivery of written notice to the custodian or owner, in which case, notice shall be deemed accomplished upon delivery or by the procedures set forth in subparagraph (H) of this paragraph.

(H) If the identity of the custodian or owner is unknown, notice of seizure shall be given either by posting for written notice thereof at the physical location of such seizure or by publishing written notice thereof in a newspaper of general circulation on the island of seizure, and notice shall be deemed accomplished three days after such posting or publication.

(e) The owner or custodian of the seized animal must deliver to the Animal Shelter, Humane Society or animal impound written notice of the owner's or custodian's desire to contest the seizure of the animal and to regain custody of the animal within three days after delivery of such notice. To be considered effective, the notice of the owner or custodian of the seized animal must set forth the owner's or custodian's physical address and mailing address. If the owner or custodian of the animal fails to deliver such notice within the specified period, then the owner or custodian shall be deemed to have relinquished all legal and custodial rights to such animal and to have delivered such animal to the ownership and custody of the Department of Agriculture.

(f) If the owner or custodian of the animal delivers the notice set forth in subsection (e) within the stated period, the Commissioner of Agriculture, within five days after receipt of such notice shall hold an administrative hearing to make a determination as to whether the animal should have been removed. After a determination that the animal should have been removed, the Commissioner shall file a complaint in the Superior Court setting forth the facts and circumstances relating to the seizure of the animal and such facts as he has been able to determine relating to the animal's care, custody, and condition and requesting that legal and custodial rights to such animal be transferred to the Animal Shelter or Humane Society. A copy of such a complaint shall be served on the owner or custodian of the animal.

(g) If the owner or custodian of the animal wishes to dispute the allegations of the complaint or the requested relief, he shall file an answer to the complaint within 10 days after service, setting forth his response to the allegations of the complaint. If no such answer is filed within the ten-day time limit, the legal and custodial rights to the animal shall be deemed transferred to the Animal Shelter or Humane Society, and the court shall, on application of the Department of Agriculture and the consent of the Animal Shelter or Humane Society, enter an order to that effect. If an answer is filed, the court shall hold a hearing on the merits of the matter within 30 days thereafter. Neither party shall have the right to trial by jury at such a hearing.

(h) At the adjudicatory hearing, the Department of Agriculture shall bear the burden of proving by preponderance of evidence that the seized animal was neglected or abused as defined in this chapter, and that the owner or custodian was either responsible for or had or should have had knowledge of the abuse or neglect. If the court so finds, the court shall enter an order transferring legal and custodial rights to the animal to the Department of Agriculture and shall enter judgment against the owner or custodian for an amount pursuant to subsection (i) of this section.

(i) The owner or custodian of such animal shall be liable to the Department of Agriculture, Humane Society, Animal Shelter, or licensed veterinarian for the payment of such care keeping and medical attention provided to the animal from the date of its delivery to the date of its release.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, pp. 147-151.
14 V.I.C. § 188 (2013)

§ 188. Permitting animals to stray on public roads

Whoever permits donkeys, horses, mules, sheep, cattle, hogs or goats to stray at large so as to create a menace or hazard upon any public road, street or highway shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, p. 151.
14 V.I.C. § 189 (2013)

§ 189. Dogs running at large

It is unlawful for any person owning, controlling, or having in their care or custody any dog, whether licensed or unlicensed, to permit the dog to be upon any public street, alley, or public place, or private places open to the public, or upon any unenclosed land or property unless the dog is upon a leash, not exceeding six feet in length, and in the hands of a person capable of controlling the dog.

Any person violating this provision shall be fined not less than $200, but not exceeding $1,000.

HISTORY: --Added May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, p. 151.
14 V.I.C. § 190 (2013)

§ 190. Ferocious, vicious or mischievous animals

Whoever, owning a ferocious, vicious, or mischievous animal and knowing its propensities--

(1) willfully suffers it to go at large; or

(2) keeps it without ordinary care--

and such animal while so at large, or while not kept with ordinary care, kills or seriously injures any human being who has taken all the precautions which the circumstances permitted, or which a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation, shall be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than 180 days, or both.

HISTORY: --Renumbered May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, p. 142.
14 V.I.C. § 192 (2013)

§ 192. Importation of snakes

(a) Whoever imports into the Virgin Islands any snake of any kind, without the prior written permission of the Department of Agriculture, shall be fined not more than $500.

(b) Whoever wilfully frees within the Virgin Islands any snake of any kind shall be fined not more than $500.

HISTORY: --Added Apr. 7, 1978, No. 4119, § 1, Sess. L. 1978, p. 56; renumbered May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, p. 142.
14 V.I.C. § 193 (2013)

§ 193. Wrongful killing of animals for personal use or financial gain

Any person not entitled to the possession of any animal or animals, who with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the same, kills the animal or animals for the purpose of procuring the meat for his own personal use or to sell the meat or carcass for personal gain is, if the total value of the animal or animals is $100 or more, guilty of a felony and shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than two years or a fine of not more than $1000 or both.

HISTORY: --Added Oct. 20, 1981, No. 4642, Sess. L. 1981, p. 244; renumbered May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, p. 142.

14 V.I.C. § 194 (2013)

§ 194. Dogs or horses used by peace officers; willful or malicious harm or interference; penalty; restitution

(a) Any person who willfully and maliciously and with no legal justification strikes, beats, kicks, stabs, shoots with a firearm, administers any poison or other harmful or stupefying substance to, or throws, hurls, or projects at, or places any rock, object, or other substance which is used in such a manner as to be capable of producing injury and is likely to produce injury, on or in the path of, any dog, under the supervision of, or any horse being used by, any peace officer in the discharge or attempted discharge of his duties, is guilty of a felony and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $2000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.

(b) Any person who willfully and maliciously and with no legal justification interferes with or obstructs any dog or horse being used by a peace officer in the discharge or attempted discharge of his duties by frightening, teasing, agitating, harassing, or hindering the dog or horse shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

(c) Any person who, in violation of this section, and with intent to inflict such injury or death, causes the death, destruction, or serious physical injury, including but not limited to, bone fracture, loss or impairment of function of any bodily member, wounds requiring extensive suturing, or crippling, of any dog or horse, shall upon conviction of a felony under subsection (a) of this section be subject to a term of imprisonment of one (1) year in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for such felony.

(d) In any case in which a defendant is convicted of a violation of this section, the defendant shall be ordered to make restitution to the agency, department, independent instrumentality or subdivision of the Government of the Virgin Islands owning the animal or employing the peace officer for any veterinary bills, replacement costs of the animal if it is disabled or killed, and the salary of the peace officer for the period of time his services are lost to the Government.

HISTORY: --Added Oct. 16, 1987, No. 5284, § 3, Sess. L. 1987, p. 139; renumbered May 5, 2005, No. 6731, § 1, Sess. L. 2005, p. 142.

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Topic starter Posted : March 7, 2014 5:19 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Here are contact Telephone numbers for OUR senators if you do not wish to e-mail them.

http://www.legvi.org/directory/directory.pdf

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Topic starter Posted : March 7, 2014 5:48 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Strong Views on Cockfighting Displayed in Senate

Sen. Nereida "Nellie" Rivera-O'Reilly made an impassioned plea to ban cockfighting in the territory, while other senators worried about making criminals out of spectators of a long established and locally legal practice during a Senate committee hearing. But new federal law criminalizing cockfight spectators probably will not affect V.I. fights so long as local law permits them, according to testimony and legal analysis at the hearing.

O'Reilly said cockfighting was cruel, made people callous and has not been shown to contribute in any meaningful way to the economy. She quoted the famed late labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, saying: "Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people.”

With only a couple of facilities and no data on tax revenues or other economic impact available, O'Reilly said she objected to calling cockfighting a local "industry."

If you want to call it being put in a cage and beaten, then OK, call it that, if you wouldn't mind being that chicken, but don't call it an industry," she said.

St. Croix Animal Welfare Center Animal Control coordinator Moises Carmona also spoke in opposition to cockfighting, saying it was gratuitously cruel. "In 16 years (with the Animal Shelter) I have seen abused animals pretty much every day. And definitely cockfighting to my belief is definitely cruel.”

“There is no reason for anyone to ... raise a rooster to fight just to have fun," he said. Carmona said he objected to the idea that cockfighting should be tolerated because it is part of the local culture.

"People used to say it is the culture of the island for a man to beat his wife or children, but things change. Cockfighting is a brutal sport and wrong," Carmona said.

Sen. Terrence "Positive" Nelson said there was a clash of cultures over this issue and people should not assume a person involved in cockfighting is a mean or violent person.

"Don't assume that children who grow up and see cockfighting and may even like it, or even dog fighting, that makes them mean, because that is a fallacy,” Nelson said. "The more things we make illegal the more criminals we make," he added.

Nelson said he does not go to cockfights and may not want teenagers to attend either, "but to make them criminals? Hell no," he said.

Sen. Kenneth Gittens agreed. “I am not willing to send anyone to jail over this,” he said.

Sen. Diane Capehart asked if it was being taxed and how much money is being produced. No testifiers present Wednesday had information on that.

Capehart and Sen. Myron Jackson said a future hearing on the topic with Internal Revenue Bureau testifiers would be helpful.

Capehart asked if it could be made less cruel with legislation banning practices like attaching spurs to the feet of the birds.

Agriculture Department Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Bethany Bradford said the birds are bred to fight and will do so with or without spurs. Bradford said she took no position on cockfighting and interacts with owners and breeders primarily to help prevent the spread of disease.

In written testimony, Delegate Donna M. Christensen said the initial interpretation from the Congressional Research Service anticipated that cockfighting would be treated similarly to how marijuana is treated in states where it is illegal under federal law but legal under state law. As a result, it could – but probably would not – put participants under risk of arrest.

“Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under whose jurisdiction cockfighting falls, is willing to give a concrete interpretation of the statute,” said Christensen, “but both say that given more pressing enforcement priorities and staff limitations, as well as the fact that cockfighting is legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands, they are unlikely to apply enforcement measures such as might be employed in states where the sport is illegal.”

“For many reasons, at least in the case of USDA, which has jurisdiction under their Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, cockfighting in the territories does not meet the threshold to trigger legal intervention,” she said.

But this does not mean that cockfighting will never draw the attention of law enforcement, she said. “There is a caveat. Because in many jurisdictions, other criminal activity is associated with cockfighting, activities which by themselves would invite legal intervention and enforcement; wherever there is cockfighting, careful and strict monitoring must take place to ensure illegal activities are not occurring concurrently,” she said. “That is the one condition that both agencies agree could invite law enforcement to come in to the establishment and in enforcing the law against that activity, put cockfighting and its attendees at risk.”

Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Wayne Biggs asserted that cockfighting is legal under V.I. law, citing provisions that tax cockfights and specifically exempts cockfighting from the territory's felony animal abuse statute. But the question of how the change in federal law affects the territory is more complicated.

"Where the water really gets muddy is in the United States territories where the sport of cockfighting is still legal and conducted by entities that are licensed by the government to do so," Biggs said.

"This is not dissimilar to the federal law prohibiting the sale and use of marijuana, while some states nonetheless have legalized its sale and use. Will the federal government enforce its ban in these states?" he asked. “So far they have not chosen to do so and impede on the states' rights.”

“Will the federal government enforce its law against knowingly watching cockfighting events? That is exactly why these discussions are pertinent and necessary," he said.

V.I. Legal Counsel Lisa Harris-Moorhead said "an argument could be made both ways" about whether V.I. law permits cockfighting. While the law exempts cockfighting from first-degree felony animal abuse, the statute does not exempt it from lesser animal abuse offenses, so if she were a police officer who wanted to charge someone, she would charge under one of the other offenses. But a court could interpret the legislative intent to have been to exempt cockfighting from the entire statute, or not, leaving it ambiguous. The statute should be clarified one way or the other, she said.

No votes were taken at the information gathering hearing. There will be future hearings on the subject, with testimony from IRB and people in the industry, Jackson said.

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2014/03/20/strong-views-cockfighting-displayed-senate

I have written all 15 Senators, as well as Donna Christiansen, the Daily News and was asked if my letter to the Senators could be published in last weeks issue of St. John's Tradewinds newspaper, which it was. If more people continue to speak out and contact thier Senators, write the local newspapers, we can make a diiference, TOGETHER, to demand that this babaric practice is made illegal, our antiquated animal cruelty laws are brought into the 21st century and that provisions are made for their enforcement.
Please don't let this opportunity to make a difference and changes for the better, pass us by. Thank you.

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Topic starter Posted : March 20, 2014 12:10 pm
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