Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) on Monday got so frustrated during a lengthy debate over a bill targeting animal neglect that he threatened to stop proposing legislation completely.
Courtney, the lead sponsor of the bill that would increase penalties for residents who repeatedly neglect animals, seemingly lost his cool and launched into a heated and unfocused diatribe defending the legislation. Opponents argue the bill contains over-the-top penalties, would allow searches without a warrant and contains language that is unclear.
“You know, I’m going to stop introducing legislation. Because apparently what I introduce is so outrageous,” Courtney said sarcastically. “It’s going to do all kinds of things that I had no idea it was going to do.”
He went on: “I introduced a bill on dog fighting, passed overwhelming. I introduced a bill on cock fighting…passed overwhelming. I introduced a bill on beastiality, which according to most people, humans having sex with animals is not a good idea. This bill was vilified in the ways and means community because of beastiality.”
Watch the entire speech below (He gets particularly heated and high-pitched towards the end):
Senate Bill 6 ended up passing the Senate with a 18-12 vote and is now heading to the state’s House for consideration.
The Statesman Journal has more information on the animal neglect bill:
Courtney told lawmakers he introduced the bill in response to an incident in January where 149 neglected dogs were rescued from a Brooks warehouse.
Under the bill, law enforcement agencies would be allowed to inspect animal rescue facilities, including those they have reason to believe are unlicensed.
Animal rescue groups would also be required to keep certain records, including a photograph taken of the animal within 24 hours of being brought in, the number of offspring an animal has, along with breed type and weight information.
The bill would increase the penalties for animal neglect in the first degree — an offense where the failure to provide care to the animal results in serious physical injury or death to the animal — to a Class C felony for repeat offenders with incidents involving 10 or more animals or if the crime is committed in front of a minor. Exceptions for “good animal husbandry” practices are included in the legislation.
Courtney reportedly told lawmakers he would not apologize and is not ashamed of introducing the legislation.
“This is not some disastrous piece of legislation that’s going to shut down the cattle industry or the farming industry,” he said.
“Some lawmakers applauded after Courtney’s speech concluded,” the Statesman reports.