Update on HB 22 – Animals at Large Bill

HB 22 (Bubp) – Animals at Large

HB 22, which is an OFBF priority issue for 2011, will clarify Ohio law by establishing clear standards for civil and criminal liability and will ensure that farmers whose animals escape fences and buildings through no fault of the owner (natural disasters, acts of weather, mischief, vandalism, etc.) do not face criminal charges. The changes in HB 22 will ensure that animal owners will continue to be civilly liable for damages if the animal gets out through a negligent act of the owner, but that criminal penalties will only apply if the owner acts in a reckless manner. HB 22 has passed both the House Judiciary Committee and the full House of Representatives unanimously. It is now pending committee hearings in the Senate Agriculture Committee and is likely to have sponsor testimony the week of March 15.