(a) A person commits the crime of aggravated cruelty to animals if the person intentionally or knowingly violates Section 13A-11-14, and the act of cruelty or neglect involved the infliction of torture to the animal.
(b) The word torture as used in this section shall mean the act of doing physical injury to an animal by the infliction of inhumane treatment or gross physical abuse meant to cause the animal intensive or prolonged pain or serious physical injury, or by causing the death of the animal.
(c) For purposes of this section and Section 13A-11-14, the terms torture and cruelty do not include the following:
(1) Actions taken if there is a reasonable fear of imminent attack, or conduct which is otherwise permitted under the agricultural or animal husbandry laws, customs, or practices of this state or the United States, including, but not limited to, catfish, cattle, goats, horses, pigs, hogs, poultry, sheep, pen-raised game, rodeo stock, and other farm animals.
(2) Conduct which is permitted under the fishing, hunting, and trapping laws, customs, or practices of this state or the United States.
(3) Conduct that is permitted under the laws, customs, or practices of this state or the United States related to the training, conditioning, and use of animals for rodeos, equine activities, livestock shows, field trials, and similar activities, or the use of dogs for hunting, service work, or similar activities.
(4) Conduct that is licensed or lawful under the Alabama Veterinary Practice Act or conduct by any licensed veterinarian that complies with accepted standards of practice of the profession within the State of Alabama, including, but not limited to, euthanasia.
(5) Conduct that is lawful under the laws of this state or the United States relating to activities undertaken by research and education facilities and institutions.
(6) Conduct that is prohibited under Section 13A-12-4.
(d) Aggravated cruelty to animals is a Class C felony.
Last modified: May 3, 2021