SRC-SLL H.B. 2396 75(R) BILL ANALYSIS Senate Research CenterH.B. 2396 By: Finnell (Patterson) Criminal Justice 5-18-97 Engrossed DIGEST Currently, Texas law does not require a person who is in possession of a horse to prove ownership of the horse. This enables thieves to sell stolen horses at auction houses, slaughterhouses, or privately with little fear of criminal prosecution. Even if the horse is properly identified, there are many auction houses and slaughterhouses that do not make any inspection of these markings. This bill will create programs for the prevention of horse theft, provide regulations for the identification and slaughter of horses, and make horse theft a second degree felony. PURPOSE As proposed, H.B. 2396 creates training programs to promote the prevention of horse theft for horse owners and law enforcement agencies that investigate horse thefts, sets forth guidelines for identifying horses, provides regulations for the slaughter of horses, and makes horse theft a second degree felony. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY This bill does not grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Title 6B, Agriculture Code, by adding Chapter 151, as follows: CHAPTER 151. PREVENTION AND INVESTIGATION OF HORSE THEFT Sec. 151.001. TRAINING PROGRAM FOR HORSE OWNERS. Requires the Texas Agricultural Extension Service (TAES) to develop an ongoing training program for horse owners to promote the prevention of horse theft. Requires the program to include certain information. Requires a county office of the TAES to periodically notify horse owners of the training program through public service announcements or other means. Sec. 151.002. TRAINING PROGRAM FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. Requires a state, county, or local law enforcement agency with responsibility for investigating horse thefts to provide certain training for its employees likely to handle horse theft cases. Requires state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, to the greatest extent possible, to use the Texas Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center in reporting and investigating horse thefts. SECTION 2. Amends Section 144.001, Agriculture Code, to authorize a person who owns a horse to have and use one or more of certain methods to identify a horse. SECTION 3. Amends Section 144.002, Agriculture Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 4. Amends Section 144.041, Agriculture Code, to require a person who owns a horse to record an identification mark authorized by Section 144.001(b) with the county clerk of the county in which the animal is located. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 5. Amends Section 144.102, Agriculture Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 6. Amends Section 146.052(b), Agriculture Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 7. Amends Section 148.011(c), Agriculture Code, to require a slaughterer to preserve the record of livestock purchased or slaughtered for at least two years, rather than one year. SECTION 8. Amends Sections 148.012(c) and (d), Agriculture Code, to make conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 9. Amends Chapter 148C, Agriculture Code, by adding Sections 148.029 and 148.030, as follows: Sec. 148.029. FEE FOR HORSES SOLD TO SLAUGHTERER. Requires a slaughterer to pay certain fees for each horse purchased for slaughter. Requires the slaughterer to remit these fees on a weekly basis. Sec. 148.030. INSPECTION OF HORSES SOLD THROUGH CERTAIN SLAUGHTERHOUSES. Authorizes the department, agency, or association authorized to inspect livestock under 7 U.S.C. Section 217a to inspect for identification purposes each horse held, handled, purchased, or sold through a slaughterhouse. SECTION 10. Effective date: September 1, 1997. SECTION 11. Emergency clause.