A revised version of a local law on animal abuse in Oneida County would remove the proposed penalty against someone who sells an animal to a convicted abuser, and would specifically exempt farms where an abuser works or shares the business with other people.
Support for the registry approach is not universal among animal advocates. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals does not endorse them, instead favoring stronger penalties for abuse and making sure judges have the authority to order no contact with animals. It says registries typically have a limited reach because they’re in effect only in certain jursidictions, encourage defendants to plead down to lesser offenses to avoid the public notice, don’t address many sources of pets, can create a vigilante mentality, and do not apply to sources of pets beyond sellers and shelter adoptions.
Further, the organization says, similar registries for other crimes have not been validated as effective.
“The ASPCA supports efforts that raise awareness of the seriousness of animal abuse as a significant crime and bring attention to the connection between animal cruelty and other forms of violence,” the organization said. “But there is no evidence that animal abuse registries can achieve their purported aim, and they may even unwittingly do more harm than good by diverting resources that could otherwise help law enforcement and animal control agencies prevent cruelty before it occurs.