STAND. COM. REP. NO.2260
RE: S.B. No. 2858
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 2858 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CRUELTY TO ANIMALS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to change the penalty for cruelty to animals from a misdemeanor to a class C felony.
Testimony in support of this measure was received from the Hawaiian Humane Society, Animal Rights Hawaii, Citizens for Humane Animal Policies, and three individuals. The Honolulu Police Department and the Office of the Public Defender submitted testimony in opposition.
Your Committee has heard that the current animal cruelty law was originally written in 1850 and although the penal code was reorganized in 1972, the animal cruelty section has remained virtually unchanged.
Your Committee strongly supports stronger penalties as a deterrent to cruelty to animals, but members have grave reservations about the class C felony provisions. The Honolulu Police Department has raised concerns that a class C felony, while justified in cases of severe abuse, may not be appropriate in other, less abusive situations.
Your Committee believes the penalty provision would benefit from further discussion by the members of the Committee on Judiciary.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2858 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs,
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair