North Carolina lawmakers introduce bill to create online registry for convicted animal abusers

A pair of North Carolina state senators have introduced a bill that would create an online registry of convicted animal abusers. 

The bipartisan bill, introduced by Floyd McKissick (D) and Danny Britt (R) and dubbed the North Carolina Animal Abuser Registry Act, calls for adding anyone convicted of animal abuse to a public database for two years from the date of conviction.

The offender's name and photograph would appear in the registry, along with "other identifying data as the Department [of Public Safety] determines is necessary to properly identify the animal abuser."

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Repeat convictions would result in the perpetrator's name and photograph remaining in the registry for five years. The bill also calls for banning people convicted of animal abuse twice from owning a pet for five years.

The legislation would go into effect in 2020 if passed, according to CBS News.

ABC 11, a local news affiliate, reported that the bill passed on the first reading Monday. 

Tennessee became the first state in the U.S. to create a registry for convicted animal abusers in 2015, according to WRAL. That database focuses mainly on violent abuse.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) earlier this week signed a bill making animal abuse a felony charge. The new law, which only applies to dogs and cats, will go into effect on July 1.