Nov. 26, 2004 Gov. Charles W. Turnbull sent the media a nine-page fax Friday evening summarizing the bills he has approved and vetoed in the final FY 2005 budget.
Among the items the governor vetoed was the anti-cruelty animal bill, saying in part, "[while] dogfighting is rightfully banned in this bill it is noteworthy that the bill specifically and selectively excludes cockfighting as a form of animal abuse. I will find it difficult to sign a bill against animal cruelty that does not include and identify cockfighting as a form of animal cruelty."
In September the full Senate approved the bill unanimously, after years of uphill battle. (See "V.I. Animal Cruelty May Finally Be a Thing of the Past").
The governor also called the penalties for animal cruelty called for in the bill "overreaching and draconian" and said he was "not in favor of what is tantamount to legalizing trespass under the color of providing aid to an animal in distress."
Calling some penalties too harsh, he asked the rhetorical question, "Isn't this an area where enlightened intervention and counseling may lead to correction, rehabilitation and changed behavior?"
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