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Cruelty to Livestock Animals

The Cruelty to Livestock Animals crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you torture, abandon, overwork, or neglect a livestock animal. You can also be arrested if you trip a horse or cause one animal to fight another. Learn more detailed information about the Cruelty to Livestock Animals offense below.

Have you been charged with Cruelty to Livestock Animals? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Cruelty to Livestock Animals is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 9 “Offenses Against Public Order And Decency”, Chapter 42 “Disorderly Conduct And Related Offenses.”

What is the law in Texas about Cruelty to Livestock Animals?

The offense is described in Section 42.09 of the Texas Penal Code.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly:

(1) tortures a livestock animal;

(2) fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, or care for a livestock animal in the person’s custody;

(3) abandons unreasonably a livestock animal in the person’s custody;

(4) transports or confines a livestock animal in a cruel and unusual manner;

(5) administers poison to a livestock animal, other than cattle, horses, sheep, swine, or goats, belonging to another without legal authority or the owner’s effective consent;

(6) causes one livestock animal to fight with another livestock animal or with an animal as defined by Section 42.092;

(7) uses a live livestock animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing on a racetrack;

(8) trips a horse; or

(9) seriously overworks a livestock animal.

How can I be charged with Cruelty to Livestock Animals?

You can be charged with Cruelty to Livestock Animals if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 42.09(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Cruelty to Livestock Animals?

If the offense falls under subsections (a)(2), (3) ,(4), or (9), a conviction for Cruelty to Livestock Animals is punished by default as a Class A misdemeanor,1 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.

However, if the offense falls under one of those subsections, and you have been convicted of this offense or the offense of Cruelty to Nonlivestock Animals two or more times, a conviction for Cruelty to Livestock Animals is punished as a State Jail Felony,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years.

If the offense falls under subsections (a)(1), (5), (6), (7) or (8), then a conviction for Cruelty to Livestock Animals is punished by default as a State Jail Felony,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years.

But if the offense falls under one of those subsections, and you have been convicted of this offense or the offense of Cruelty to Nonlivestock Animals two or more times, then a conviction for Cruelty to Livestock Animals is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,4 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1Texas Penal Code Section 42.09(c)

2Texas Penal Code Section 42.09(c)

3Texas Penal Code Section 42.09(c)

4Texas Penal Code Section 42.09(c)

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