We agree with state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, that more must be done to protect animals. But his plan for creating a state animal abuse registry is not the way to go.
Florez, the Senate majority leader, wants to require that anyone convicted of a felony involving animal cruelty must register with the police and provide personal information and a current photograph. That information would be posted online, along with information on the person's offenses.
The biggest problem with that solution is it would create another state bureaucracy. We also question the registry's effectiveness. We would rather see the penalties and fines substantially increased on those convicted of animal cruelty.
We're also concerned about how the registry would be funded. Florez is proposing that the registry be paid for by a pet food fee. That would be an unfair tax on California's pet owners. The proposed tax is not supported by the pet food industry.
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