Animal activists upset over anti-hoarding bill

There is an uproar over a bill that is on Governor Doug Ducey's desk.

The bill is designed to crack down on animal hoarding and cruelty, but some animal rights activists worry it will actually lead to the abuse of farm animals.

"The animals don't have a voice; we have to be the voice," said animal rights activist Megan Gipson.

Gipson is among a number of animal rights activists, including the Humane Society of the United States, asking for Gov. Ducey to veto HB2150.

They are at issue with a section in the bill that excludes livestock and poultry from Title 13 Animal Cruelty laws.

"What someone can now do is cut off their legs, wring a chicken's neck, throw the chicken in the lake to drown, and nothing can happen," said Gipson.

But the Arizona Farm Bureau says the bill itself makes it a felony to torture or torment livestock or poultry.

"I would urge them to actually read the bill, and see in fact there are penalties on the livestock side too," said Ana Kennedy with the AZ Farm Bureau.

The farm bureau supports the bill, saying it is important to distinguish farm animals when addressing animal hoarding, so there aren't unintended consequences for farmers.

"When you talk about hoarding you're talking about a large number of animals in one place, if you look at a dairy or feed lot where I grew up, there's a large number of animals on those farms, but is that hoarding? Absolutely not," said Kennedy.

The bill also requires the Director of Agriculture to be notified about investigations, something Gipson says will tip-off the industry and lead to cover-ups.

While the farm bureau says having AG experts on hand will ensure investigations are done properly.
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