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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 
                               following

                              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

                                                                  

                                                                 Page
The Amendment..............................................           2
Purpose and Summary........................................           2
Background and Need for the Legislation....................           2
Hearings...................................................           3
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 prison.
    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 
inanimate object.

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held on the bill, H.R. 1791.

                        Committee Consideration

    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 
being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    No recorded votes of the committee were taken on the bill, 
H.R. 1791.

                      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 
Representatives.

               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 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               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.
            Sincerely,
                                  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 
appropriated funds.
    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 
negligible.
    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 
Analysis.

                   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

Sec.
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.