Animal Abuse Registry Narrowly Fails In Arkansas House

Mar 13, 2017

State Rep. Clarke Tucker (D-Little Rock). File photo.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

In a close vote Monday, a measure to create an animal abuse registry failed in the Arkansas House. The bill by State Representative Clarke Tucker would have required felony animal abusers to register - for a limited period of a time - with the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

Animal adoption centers and stores would have then had the voluntary option of consulting the list. Sellers would still not be banned from pursuing business or selling animals to those on the list. But Tucker hoped adoption centers could use the information when exercising their discretion.

On the House floor Tucker seemed to acknowledge that the Legislature has been traditionally wary of passing laws securing the well being of animals. He characterized the bill as “narrow” and “targeted” as part of an effort to gain consensus and allay agribusiness concerns of broad animal protections.

The Little Rock Democrat said the proposed animal registry would only target the “most abhorrent and obscene things” such as dog fighting or dragging an animal behind a car. ACIC said that accounts for about five or six people per year and would amount to zero additional cost to maintain an online registry.

The bill was five votes short of passing in the 100 member chamber. No one opposed to the bill spoke during Monday's floor debate.

The Arkansas House vote tally for the animal abuse registry bill.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR