BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law does not address the controlling of packs of wild dogs or wild cats outside of urban areas. As a result, ranchers, farmers, and others in rural areas of Texas risk prosecution for taking the initiative of thinning out uncontrolled populations of wild dogs and wild cats in the absence of an animal control official.
This legislation authorizes farmers, ranchers, and other persons in rural Texas to take reasonable and responsible actions to protect themselves, their property, their livestock, and their crops by controlling the population of wild dogs and wild cats.
H.B. 1472 adds a defense to prosecution for a certain animal cruelty offense.
ANALYSIS H.B. 1472 amends the Penal Code to include among the defenses to prosecution for an animal cruelty offense of intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly killing, poisoning, or causing bodily injury to an animal without the owner's effective consent, the defense that a person committed the offense on discovering that the animal was on the person's property in the act of or after harassing the person's livestock animals. The bill defines "harass" to mean to disturb, worry, molest, harry, torment, or chase.