Bill to protect livestock receives bipartisan support
Published 7:40 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Even short bills can have a large impact.
Rep. Matthew Koch, R-Paris, described House Bill 229, an act relating to the protection of livestock, as a “little bill with a big impact” during today’s House Judiciary Committee Meeting.
HB 229 would make someone guilty of criminal mischief for intentionally or wantonly causing damage to livestock— including cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, alpacas, llamas and buffaloes. Currently, the law only pertains to cattle.
Under the legislation, an offender would be:
- Guilty of first-degree criminal mischief for causing $1,000 or more worth of damage. The offense is a class D felony and carries a penalty of one to five years in prison.
- Guilty of second-degree criminal mischief for causing $500 to $1,000 worth of damage. The offense is a class A misdemeanor and carries a penalty of 90 days to one year in jail.
- Guilty of third-degree criminal mischief for causing less than $500 worth of damage. The offense is a class B misdemeanor and carries a penalty of 90 days in jail.
Koch, who is a horse farmer, said HB 229 came to be after a horse shooting in Woodford County last year.
“We need to put some teeth to this to help protect those livestock,” Koch said.
The House Judiciary Committee approved HB 229 unanimously.
The bill now heads to the House Floor for consideration.