Proposed crime of livestock harassment gets closer to becoming Utah law

First Published      Last Updated Mar 03 2017 07:15 pm

Cattle harassers beware. The Utah Legislature is getting closer to making it a crime, subject to jail time, to harass livestock.

HB217 won approval 4-0 in the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee on Thursday and now heads to the full Senate. It already won House approval.

Rep. Scott Chew, R-Jensen, said he drafted the bill after a group of youth harassed livestock in his county last summer and walked away with no charges. Not only were several calves killed, but video of the act was posted on social media.

The bill outlaws harassment through the use of motorized vehicles, dogs or drones — making it a class B misdemeanor for a first offense, or a Class A misdemeanor for a repeat offender or if livestock are seriously injured or killed.

— Jessica Banuelos