Watch out if you’re a animal abuser; you could be seeing your photo and information online in Tennessee by Friday morning, reports WBIRNews.
The country’s first Animal Abuse Registry will list people convicted of aggravated animal cruelty or felony animal fighting. Through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, “The Tennessee Animal Abuser Registration Act,” the list shall include a photograph taken of the convicted animal abuser as part of the booking process, the animal abuser’s full legal name, and other identifying data as the TBI determines is necessary to properly identify the animal abuser and to exclude innocent persons.” First time offenders will be listed on the registry for two years. Subsequent offenses will require those found guilty to be on the list for five years.
The Act takes effect on January 1, 2016. The website is currently under construction and will soon offer additional information about the law and frequently asked questions and answers. “This bill was modeled after the sexual offender bills where there is a registry that is kept on people who have committed sexual offenses, so people can look it up and see if they have a record, and we wanted to do the same thing with animal abusers,” stated Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville.
In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be keeping closer tabs on animal cruelty beginning 2016 in order to show the connection between animal abuse and violent crimes. Police departments across the nation will be required to report to a national data base entitled “crimes against society,” and will divide the offenses into four separate categories: neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse and animal sexual abuse, reports the Sun. The results of the data collected will be available to the public in 2017.
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