A bill barring local law enforcement from enforcing animal cruelty laws on farms and other livestock operations has been moved forward by an Arizona legislative committee. House Bill 2587 sponsored by Representative Brenda Barton of Payson also requires anyone who has photographic or video evidence of animal cruelty to report to authorities within five days. An amendment added Tuesday allows the state Department of Agriculture to coordinate with local law enforcement but police say that amendment does not do enough to restore power to local officers.
The bill was approved on a six-to-two vote after more than an hour of emotional testimony from supporters, who say it helps free up resources for investigating domestic animal abuse. Animal rights activists say the intent is to stop undercover operations that reveal animal cruelty.