State Representative Danny R. Bubp (R-West Union) attended Governor Kasich’s bill signing of House Bill 22, which revises laws regarding civil and criminal penalties levied against livestock owners.
House Bill 22 ensures that livestock owners whose animals are intentionally set free by an unauthorized person opening a gate or cutting a fence would not be held criminally liable for failing to keep their livestock from running at large.
Previously, a livestock owner would have been charged criminally for circumstances beyond their control, regardless of how responsible the owner is.
“House Bill 22 will clarify the duty of care for animal owners and yield a balanced approach to the problem of animals running at large,” Rep. Bubp said.
According to House Bill 22, in cases where animals escape due to a storm or a neighborhood prank, the owner will not be criminally liable if proven that he or she acted in a reasonably prudent manner to prevent or rectify the escape. Alternatively, liability will be imposed if the animal owner or keeper fails to maintain barns, fences and gates or does not respond to the knowledge that the animals are at large.
House Bill 22 had passed from the House in February with unanimous support. It was introduced at the request of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.