Those convicted of animal abuse could be forced to register in a database, like convicted sex offenders, under a proposal that may be considered in Springfield.
State Rep. Toni Berrios (D-Chicago) says she plans to introduce a bill in the upcoming session of the General Assembly. She says she was urged by those who work with animals in her district to model the proposed legislation on a law currently on the books in New York.
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“Penalties are very weak and there is no way to know if someone has been convicted of animal cruelty,” Berrios says.
Under the bill, pet shops and animal breeders would be required to check the database before selling an animal, to see if the customer is on it. People on the list would not be allowed to own or work with animals and would have to notify the state of any change of address.