Statehouse Sitdown: Animal Cruelty Bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Statehouse Sitdown: Animal Cruelty Bill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Vermont lawmakers are considering creating an animal cruelty database.

The proposal is part of a bill making its way through the Vermont Statehouse that would require people convicted of animal abuse to register in a statewide database, much like a sex offender registry.

That information, would then be made available to pet stores, animal shelters and officials.

"The Department of Public Safety already keeps a tremendous amount of information," says Sen. Tim Ashe (D-Chittenden County), who sponsored the bill. "What we would really be doing is requiring that anytime a court convicts someone, that that information be transmitted to the Department of Public Safety. It doesn't need to be any more than an excel spreadsheet that you or I interact with on a regular basis.

Senator Ashe says the bill is on a two-year trajectory, and this year is really about researching how animal cruelty cases are currently being treated by the courts.

There has been concern about the proposal from the agricultural industry that it would over-scrutinize local farmers.

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