Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I –Greece) joins others who are calling for passage of “Buster’s Bill II,” which would make the use of an animal in the commission of a crime a felony offense punishable by up to two years in prison. The legislation is being introduced after several South American drug runners recently tried to smuggle narcotics into New York City.
Assembly Minority Leader James N. Tedisco (R-C-I, Schenectady, Saratoga) was the author of the original “Buster’s Bill,” signed into law in 1998, that created the category of “aggravated cruelty to animals” punishable by up to two years in prison. Previous to “Buster’s Bill,” animal cruelty resulted in only misdemeanor charges, if any charges were given at all.
“I can’t believe that anyone could commit an act of cruelty to animals, especially using them as drug mules,” said Reilich. “To be sure such perpetrators are not let off easy, there ought to be equal charges for the use of an animal in the commission of a crime,” said Reilich. “These people deserve to be punished on top of the drug charges they are already facing.”