Iowa's push for stronger laws against animal cruelty

Iowa is the only state in the US without an automatic felony charge for the crime of animal abuse.

Posted: Feb 26, 2021 7:18 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2021 8:56 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Several animal rights bills have been introduced within the past two weeks in Iowa, and are moving quickly through the legislative process. The bills are pushing to remove protection for animals.

Last year, Governor Reynolds signed the Community and Pet Protection Act into law, strengthening Iowa's animal cruelty laws.

KIMT spoke to Iowa Director of the Humane Society of the United States, Preston Moore, and he says many Iowans believe the bill didn't go far enough.

Iowa is the only state in the US without an automatic felony charge for the crime of animal abuse.

Among those bills is SSB1195 - it would prevent any city/county from passing any animal protection law if it interferes with a business that profits from animals.

Supporters of the bill believe it will protect the agriculture industry in Iowa.

Moore says these bills will only reverse part of the state's progress made so far.

"The legislature seems to be more concerned about letting these cruel industries earn a profit than they are concerned with the welfare of animals and also the safety of people in these local communities,” says Moore.

He adds it is the Humane Society’s ultimate goal to stop these bills from becoming law.

"These bills, unfortunately, are being sold as protecting agriculture - when in fact all they're doing is protecting some of the cruelest industries we see in the state like puppy mills - and wildlife traffickers,” he explains.

The passing of these bills would further impact ordinances like city limits on the number of horses owned per acre of land, protection against puppy mills, and wildlife trafficking.

These bills are under funnel deadline, meaning they have to make it through a full committee by the end of next week.

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