Today's Law As Amended

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AB-343 Animal cruelty: duty to provide documentary evidence.(2013-2014)

As Amends the Law Today


 Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 17200) is added to Part 1 of Division 9 of the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:

CHAPTER  9. Duty to Report Animal Cruelty
 (a) (1) Any person, except a person described in Section 1070 of the Evidence Code, who willfully or knowingly documents evidence of animal cruelty, in the form of film, image, photographs, print, recordings, or videotapes, shall provide a copy of the applicable form of documentary evidence obtained by the person to local law enforcement or an associated animal control officer within 120 hours of documentation to assist law enforcement with the timely investigation and appropriate enforcement of suspected cases of animal cruelty.
(2) The withholding of any documentary evidence beyond 120 hours of documentation shall be an infraction punishable by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250). The fine shall only be imposed once against a person for withholding documentary evidence related to incidences of animal cruelty involving the same person or employer.
(3) This section does not apply to the inadvertent capture of an image otherwise governed by this section through the use of video surveillance, security systems, or other imaging systems.
(b) Nothing in this section shall limit or impede an ongoing investigation as long as a copy of the documentary evidence is provided to law enforcement as required by subdivision (a). Nothing in this section shall require or encourage law enforcement agencies to reveal the source of the documentary evidence to the employer of the person who is the source of the material or to any person who is suspected of animal cruelty.
(c) Retaliation against an employee by an employer for providing documentary evidence of suspected animal cruelty as required by subdivision (a) is prohibited as provided in Section 1102.5 of the Labor Code.
(d) A person shall not be civilly or criminally liable for providing documentary evidence of suspected animal cruelty as required by this section.
(e) Any person providing documentary evidence of suspected animal cruelty pursuant to this section who, at the request of a law enforcement agency, provides the agency with information about the person or employer suspected of animal cruelty shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of providing that information.
(f) The Department of Food and Agriculture may, but is not required to, report to law enforcement or to the district attorney an individual suspected of failing to provide documentary evidence of suspected animal cruelty as required pursuant to subdivision (a).
(g) For purposes of this section, the following terms are defined as follows:
(1) “Animal” has the meaning set forth in Section 16302.
(2) “Animal cruelty” means any act involving an animal or poultry described in one or more of the following provisions:
(A) Subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 597 of the Penal Code.
(B) Section 597a of the Penal Code.
(C) Section 597b of the Penal Code.
(D) Section 597c of the Penal Code.
(E) Section 597g of the Penal Code.
(F) Section 597h of the Penal Code.
(G) Section 597k of the Penal Code.
(H) Section 597n of the Penal Code.
(I) Section 597.1 of the Penal Code.
(3) “Poultry” has the meaning set forth in Section 18675.
SEC. 2.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.