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106th Congress Report
1st Session HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 106-372
FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ANIMAL PROTECTION ACT OF 1999
October 12, 1999.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. McCollum, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 1791]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the
bill (H.R. 1791) amending title 18, United States Code, to
provide penalties for harming animals used in Federal law
enforcement, having considered the same, reports favorably
thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill as
amended do pass.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Amendment.............................................. 2
Purpose and Summary........................................ 2
Background and Need for the Legislation.................... 2
Committee Consideration.................................... 3
Vote of the Committee...................................... 3
Committee Oversight Findings............................... 3
Committee on Government Reform Findings.................... 3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures.................. 3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate.................. 3
Constitutional Authority Statement......................... 4
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion................. 5
The amendment is as follows:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu
thereof the following:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Law Enforcement Animal
Protection Act of 1999''.
SEC. 2. HARMING ANIMALS USED IN LAW ENFORCEMENT.
(a) In General.--Chapter 65 of title 18, United States Code, is
amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 1368. Harming animals used in law enforcement
``(a) Whoever willfully and maliciously harms any police animal, or
attempts to conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title and
imprisoned not more than one year. If the offense permanently disables
or disfigures the animal, or causes serious bodily injury or the death
of the animal, the maximum term of imprisonment shall be 10 years.
``(b) In this section, the term `police animal' means a dog or
horse employed by a Federal agency (whether in the executive,
legislative, or judicial branch) for the principal purpose of aiding in
the detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, or
apprehension of criminal offenders.''.
(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of
chapter 65 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the
end the following new item:
``1368. Harming animals used in law enforcement.''.
Purpose and Summary
H.R. 1791, the ``Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection
Act'' will create a new Federal crime for willfully and
maliciously harming an animal used by a Federal agency for the
principal purpose of investigating crimes, enforcing the laws,
or apprehending criminals.
Background and Need for the Legislation
Under current law, a person who willfully injures an animal
used by the Federal Government for law enforcement or
protective purposes can only be punished under 18 U.S.C.
Sec. 1361, the statute that makes it a crime to damage any
Federal property. Under that statute, the maximum punishment is
determined by the amount of damage caused. If the damage is
less than $1000, the maximum punishment is one year in prison.
If it is over that amount, the maximum punishment is 10 years
In many cases, the animals used by the Government for law
enforcement purposes may have a monetary value of less than
$1,000, and so the act of harming or killing them can be
punished only as a misdemeanor under current law. The view of
the committee is that harming one of these animals when it is
used in the course of law enforcement activities should be
punished more severely than the act of damaging an inanimate
object. The dogs and horses used by law enforcement personnel
often have been trained at great expense to the Government, and
injury to them may deprive the Government of the use of that
animal. Also, these animals and their trainers and handlers
often form close bonds, and the act of harming the animal can
affect the performance of the humans who use them in their
work. Finally, it is appropriate that our laws recognize that
society values these types of animals (dogs and horses) more
than it does inanimate objects of equal (and even greater)
monetary value. This is especially so when considering the
special work to which these animals are put. Therefore, the
committee believes that we should punish willful and malicious
harm to these animals more severely than an act of damage to an
No hearings were held on the bill, H.R. 1791.
On July 1, 1999, the Subcommittee on Crime met in open
session and ordered favorably reported the bill H.R. 1791, by a
voice vote, a quorum being present. On September 22, 1999, the
committee met in open session and ordered favorably reported
the bill H.R. 1791, with an amendment, by voice vote, a quorum
Vote of the Committee
No recorded votes of the committee were taken on the bill,
Committee Oversight Findings
In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, the committee reports that the
findings and recommendations of the committee, based on
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the
descriptive portions of this report.
Committee on Government Reform Findings
No findings or recommendations of the Committee on
Government Reform were received as referred to in clause
3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures
Clause 3(c)(2) of House Rule XIII is inapplicable because
this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or
increased tax expenditures.
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, the committee sets forth, with
respect to the bill, H.R. 1791, the following estimate and
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, September 28, 1999.
Hon. Henry J. Hyde, Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1791, the Federal
Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act of 1999.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark
Grabowicz, who can be reached at 226-2860.
Dan L. Crippen, Director.
H.R. 1791--Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act of 1999.
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1791 would not result
in any significant cost to the federal government. Because
enactment of H.R. 1791 could affect direct spending and
receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply to the bill.
However, CBO estimates that any impact on direct spending and
receipts would not be significant. H.R. 1791 contains no
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would have no effect on the
budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
H.R. 1791 would make it a federal crime to harm a police
dog or horse used by a federal agency. Violators would be
subject to imprisonment and fines. As a result, the federal
government would be able to pursue cases that it otherwise
would not be able to prosecute. CBO expects that any increase
in federal costs for law enforcement, court proceedings, or
prison operations would not be significant, however, because of
the small number of cases likely to be involved. Any such
additional costs would be subject to the availability of
Because those prosecuted and convicted under H.R. 1791
could be subject to criminal fines, the federal government
might collect additional fines if the bill is enacted.
Collections of such fines are recorded in the budget as
governmental receipts (revenues), which are deposited in the
Crime Victims Fund and spent in subsequent years. CBO expects
that any additional receipts and direct spending would be
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz,
who can be reached at 226-2860. This estimate was approved by
Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget
Constitutional Authority Statement
Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the committee finds the authority for
this legislation in Article I, section 8, of the Constitution.
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion
Section 1. Short Title. This section states the short title
of the bill as the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection
Act of 1999.
Section 2. Harming Animals Used in Law Enforcement.
This section of the bill adds new section 1368 to chapter
65 of title 18 of the United States Code. Chapter 65 deals with
crimes involving malicious mischief to property.
New section 1368 would make it a crime to wilfully and
maliciously harm any police animal, or attempt or conspire to
do so. The maximum punishment would be one year imprisonment,
unless the offense permanently disabled or disfigured the
animal, or caused serious bodily injury or the death of the
animal, in which case the maximum punishment would increase to
10 years imprisonment.
The act to be punished is causing harm to a police animal
(as defined in the bill) with willful and malicious intent. It
does not include situations where someone instinctively defends
themselves from an attack or perceived attack by a police
animal, during which the animal is injured or killed. Rather,
the intent of the bill is to punish situations where a person
wilfully attacks the animal with the malicious intent to cause
harm to it.
This section defines ``police animal'' to mean a dog or
horse employed by a Federal agency for the principal purpose of
detecting criminal activity, enforcing the laws, or
apprehending criminal offenders. Animals kept as pets or for
other purposes by the Federal Government are not protected by
new section 1368. It is immaterial whether the agency employing
the animal is part of the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial
branch, as all three branches have agencies or organizations
that perform law enforcement or protective functions (functions
which fall within the scope of this section.) The Government
must prove that the defendant knew or reasonable should have
known that the animal he or she was harming was a police animal
as defined in section 1368.
The punishment for violations of new section 1368 is a fine
or imprisonment for up to one year if the animal is harmed.
Harm should be construed to mean some type of injury. Merely
striking the animal or causing the animal to become frightened
are acts not punished by this new section. If the police animal
is permanently disabled or disfigured, of if serious bodily
injury or death results, the punishment that may be imposed is
up to 10 years imprisonment. The term ``serious bodily injury''
has the meaning set forth in section 1365 of title 18. The fact
that an animal eventually has or may recover from the serious
bodily injury (for example, a life-threatening gunshot or knife
wound) does not preclude the imposition of the longer
punishment provided by the new section.
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported
In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is
printed in italics and existing law in which no change is
proposed is shown in roman):
CHAPTER 65 OF TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE
CHAPTER 65--MALICIOUS MISCHIEF
1361. Government property or contracts.
* * * * * * *
1368. Harming animals used in law enforcement.
* * * * * * *
Sec. 1368. Harming animals used in law enforcement
(a) Whoever willfully and maliciously harms any police
animal, or attempts to conspires to do so, shall be fined under
this title and imprisoned not more than one year. If the
offense permanently disables or disfigures the animal, or
causes serious bodily injury or the death of the animal, the
maximum term of imprisonment shall be 10 years.
(b) In this section, the term ``police animal'' means a dog
or horse employed by a Federal agency (whether in the
executive, legislative, or judicial branch) for the principal
purpose of aiding in the detection of criminal activity,
enforcement of laws, or apprehension of criminal offenders.