HB 258 Modifies provisions relating to animal trespass

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -


HCS/HB 258 - Current law provides the available remedies for when a horse, cattle or other stock breaks through a fence and trespasses on another person's property. This act repeals the current law and provides that the owner of any livestock that trespasses on the premises of another is not to be held strictly liable for the damages.

This act creates the offense of tampering with farm equipment. A person commits the offense by knowingly, and without authorization, defacing, marking, disturbing, or vandalizing farm equipment, modifying or destroying any component necessary to the operation of farm equipment, or accessing and relocating any farm equipment. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor unless it causes pecuniary loss in excess of $1,000, in which case it is a Class D felony until December 31, 2106, and a Class E felony beginning January 1, 2017. This act provides a definition for "farm equipment".

Currently, the crime of animal trespass is defined as a person having ownership of an animal who fails to provide adequate control of the animal for a period of 12 hours or more. Under this act, a person commits the offense of animal or livestock trespass by either failing to provide adequate control of any animal except livestock when the animal trespasses on another person's property or failing to provide adequate control of livestock for a period of 12 hours or more when the livestock trespasses on another person's property. In addition, this act removes the maximum fines that may be charged for animal or livestock trespass, which potentially conflict with another provision of law setting the maximum fines for infractions and Class C misdemeanors. This act repeals a provision stating that reasonable costs for the care and maintenance of trespassing animals may not be waived.

This act contains provisions identical to provisions of HCS/SCS/SB 131(2015), HCS/SCS/SB 340 (2015), HCS/SB 500 (2015), and SCS/HCS/HB 807 (2015). These provisions are similar to HB 372 (2015), SB 143 (2015), and a provision of SCS/SBs 112, 212, 143 & 234 (2015).

MEGHAN LUECKE


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