The New York state legislature will send a bill to the governor that increases training for law enforcement agencies on animal cruelty laws so that they can better identify, investigate and prosecute crimes against animals. The Humane Society of the United States and the New York State Humane Association commend the legislature for unanimously passing A.7207/ S.5320 and urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign it into law.

The bill, introduced by Assemblymember William Magee, D-Nelson, and Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, will require the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to work with the Municipal Police Training Council and the Division of Criminal Justice Services to develop training, create materials and provide information regarding animal cruelty statutes for New York’s police agencies, officers and district attorneys.

Brian Shapiro, New York state director for the HSUS, said: “Successful prosecution of crimes that involve animal cruelty begins with strong police training. We applaud the New York State Legislature for passing this bill, which will promote public safety by helping police agencies, prosecutors and judges have a greater understanding of the state’s anti-cruelty statutes. We ask Gov. Cuomo to sign this into law.”

Susan McDonough, of the New York State Humane Association and a retired New York State Trooper, said: “Crimes against animals are a significant public safety, health and quality of life concern for communities across New York State. Improved access and understanding of the state’s cruelty statutes will enhance the efforts of officers and ensure better outcomes for animals and people. NYSHA commends Assemblymember Magee, Senator Ritchie and the NYS legislature for passing this critical legislation.”

The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault. Governor Cuomo’s signature on A.7207/ S.5320 will empower our police and court systems by giving them the tools needed to help combat serious crime.

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