Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (R,C,I-Massapequa) during a news conference in Albany today called for passage of “Buster’s Bill II,” a measure that would make the use of animals in the commission of a crime a felony offense punishable by up to two years in prison.
The bill, first drafted by Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco and co-sponsored by Assemblyman Saladino, was the result of the recent discovery that puppies were having their stomachs cut open and stuffed with heroin by Columbian drug lords, who then sent the animals to the United States.
The original Buster’s Bill, signed into law in 1999, created the crime of aggravated cruelty to animals, which carries a prison term of up to two years. Before Buster’s Bill, animal cruelty resulted only in, at the most, misdemeanor charges.
“The original Buster’s Bill brought the crime of animal cruelty to light,” said Saladino. “However, these recent disturbing events clearly illustrate the need for stronger and more comprehensive laws to ensure that criminals are punished for committing crimes against innocent animals.”
Saladino added he was glad to see so many legislators and animal rights activists united in support of what he believes to be an extremely important piece of legislation.