By Bob Katzen

Another bill heard by the Judiciary Committee would create a registry of Massachusetts residents convicted of abusing animals and require the abusers to register. A first conviction of failure to register would be punishable by up to five years in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. Subsequent convictions would result in a mandatory 5-year prison sentence.

Animal shelters, breeders and pet stores would be prohibited from selling or giving an animal to any registered offender. First time violators would face a prison sentence of up to one year or up to a $1,000 fine. Subsequent offenders would be subject to a 5-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.

“Studies have shown that individuals that abuse animals tend to eventually exert that behavior to humans,” said Rep. Steve Howitt (R-Seekonk). “A person who abuses an animal should not be allowed to obtain [one] and continue their abuse. This bill would red flag these individuals.”

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