Green River Star -

Our View: Act should be illegal

 


We’re delving into uncomfortable territory this week, but we think it’s an important topic all the same.

Last week, we reported on an investigation the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office is conducting into allegations of a man trespassing into privately-owned corrals to engage in sexual acts with horses north of Rock Springs.

An interesting piece to the issue is the fact that Wyoming is one of four states where those sorts of acts are not illegal. The definitions to animal cruelty don’t apply either.

This certainly should be remedied.

We understand this might be an issue of legislating common sense, but there are certain things that should constitute abuse to animals and such acts on them should qualify.

Admittedly, Wyoming’s lawmakers will have a lot on their plates when they start the 2021 legislative session. They will have to address a massive budgetary shortfall from both a crippled minerals industry and the coronavirus pandemic. This situation is incredibly minor in comparison. However, a potential way to solve this issue would be simple.

A singular law addressing such acts does not need to be written, but language focused on prohibiting the act can be added to the state’s animal cruelty laws.

A singular sentence such as “the use of an animal for sexual gratification” can be inserted into the definitions of animal cruelty and household pet animal cruelty. It wouldn’t require a severe overhaul of a law that legislators likely won’t have time to do and wouldn’t require the time to create a brand-new statute.

Is this a severe problem in Wyoming? Most certainly not, but addressing the situation is the right thing to do.

These sorts of acts should be illegal and that’s a stance we think anyone would agree with.

We hope the upcoming legislative session, regardless of who ends up attending it, will be the time and place where this long-standing omission in Wyoming’s law is addressed.

 

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