Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Opposes New Anti-Cruelty Statute

The Associated Press reports that the Arkansas state Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously to oppose a ballot measure that would create a new animal-cruelty statute.

The ballot measure, which voters will decide on in the November election, would make the most violent acts of animal cruelty Class D felonies punishable by up to six years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The Game and Fish Commission, however, argues that the law is worded vaguely and that groups supporting the anti-cruelty measure might try to use it to outlaw fishing and hunting in the state.

Game and Fish Commission chairman Jim Hinkle told the Associated Press,

Certain groups that are supporting this act are on record as wanting to eliminate hunting and fishing in Arkansas. Additionally, there are too many loopholes in the act, which may make judicial interpretation problematic.

Lyndon Poole, campaign coordinator for the Arkansas Animal Cruelty Act, responded by claiming that the very vagueness of the law would prevent hunting and fishing from being considered acts of animal cruelty.

So vague laws are good laws? Since when?

As a result of its vote, the Game and Fish Commission will join a coalition called Arkansans for Responsible Animal Laws that is opposing the measure.


Game and Fish votes to fight animal cruelty measure. Brian Skoloff, Associated Press, September 27, 2002.

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