Kentucky animal advocates stress need for tougher abuse laws
Kentucky ranks near the bottom in the country when it comes to protecting animals. That’s according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The Commonwealth’s animal protection laws currently rank 45th in the country. Todd Blevins is the Kentucky state director of the Humane Society of the United States. Despite the low ranking, he said there have been some recent changes to help improve Kentucky’s animal protection record.
“We were actually the only state in the country for a long time that actually prohibited vets from reporting suspected animal abuse. A couple (of) years ago, we were able to enact a new law that repealed that, I think it’s fair to say, outdated provision.”
Animal advocates are pushing for legislation to have owners of abused animals that have been seized by an organization pay for the cost of care of the animals. A bill like this is currently in the state Senate.
Blevins said there is another issue that lowers Kentucky’s ranking. Cockfighting is a major black eye for the state.
“Kentucky is one of only 11 states where it is perfectly legal to own roosters for the purposes of fighting. It is an obvious loophole in the law that prevents law enforcement from being able to do the job that they set out to do which is to protect animals.”
There have been several federal indictments recently filed regarding organized cockfighting in eastern Kentucky. Blevins said Kentucky has robust laws regarding dog fighting buts needs to improve the laws around cockfighting to match.