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Louisiana strengthens law against the sexual abuse of animals

Governor John Bel Edward signs S.B. 236 into law

Media Contact: Emily Ehrhorn: 202-779-1814; eehrhorn@humanesociety.org

The Humane Society of the United States thanks Governor John Bel Edwards, D-Louisiana, for signing a bill to significantly strengthen the law against the sexual abuse of animals.

The bill, S.B. 236, provided much needed upgrades to Louisiana’s antiquated language. The law now clearly defines, prohibits and sets penalties for the sexual abuse of animals. It also provides the same protections already afforded to victims of other types of animal cruelty crimes. Sponsored by Sen. Jean-Paul Morrell, D -District 3, the legislation was overwhelmingly approved in both chambers. In addition to strengthening penalties, an amendment was added in the House Administration of Criminal Justice committee to also prohibit possession of animal pornography and require the convicted person to participate in the sex offender program.

Julia Breaux, Louisiana state director for the Humane Society of the United States, who worked with lawmakers and advocates to advance the bill states, “We are thankful for the strong leadership from Sen. Jean-Paul Morrell and Rep. Jean-Paul Coussan, R-District 45, and the members of the legislature for their effort to strengthen Louisiana’s animal protection laws.”

Sen. Morrell stated, “Strong punishment for this heinous act is important because the sexual abuse of animals is an indicator of other violent, predatory sex crimes, especially against children.”

Prohibiting the sexual abuse of animals already exists in 45 states. Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, Hawaii, New Mexico and D.C. do not currently have laws prohibiting the sexual abuse of animals.