Proposed Arizona Law Could Exempt Farm Dogs from Cruelty Laws

Opponents say the broad language of the legislation leaves dogs vulnerable to routine exploitation.


Arizona lawmakers have proposed legislation that would make ranch and farm dogs legally exempt from state animal-cruelty laws, prompting outrage from animal-welfare organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Defense League of Arizona. Under the proposed legislation, the “possession and training, exhibition, or use of a dog in the lawful pursuit of ranching or farming work activities” would disqualify ranch or farm dogs from being the subjects of animal-cruelty charges—a fact that opponents say could legally sanction the routine abuse and neglect of dogs involved in ranching or herding. The bill, which passed the House with minimal changes, has advanced to the state Senate for final approval.

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