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House Bill Would Create Online Registry For Animal Abusers

TALLAHASSEE(CBSMiami/NSF) - Names and mug shots of people convicted of animal abuse would be published online by the state, under a proposal filed in the Florida House.

The measure, sponsored by Republican Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, would require the Department of Law Enforcement to post in an online registry information about people convicted of felony animal cruelty, animal fighting or sexual activities involving animals.

Each individual's information would remain on the site for two years unless they are convicted of another instance of animal abuse. The names would be kept on the site for five years for any secondary conviction of animal abuse.

The proposal would also require the Florida Department of State to send letters to breeders' associations urging members not to provide animals to people on the list.

The measure also includes sanctions for pet dealers that sell to individuals on the registry. Pet dealers would face a second-degree misdemeanor for selling to an individual on the list. The charge would be increased to a first-degree misdemeanor on the second sale, and a third conviction would net the pet dealer three days in jail along with a $2,500 fine.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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