Ortt, Norris introduce legislation to increase penalties for stealing farm animals

Posted 17 May 2023 at 1:59 pm

Press Release, State Sen. Rob Ortt, Assemblyman Mike Norris

LOCKPORT – New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt was joined by Assemblyman Mike Norris in introducing legislation on Tuesday that would increase the penalties for farm theft to second-degree burglary.

In a recent meeting by radical animal activists, discussions and action plans on how to steal livestock from local farms were outlined for attendees, leading to numerous cases of theft and suspicious activity reported by Niagara County farmers. Two farms in Niagara County, one of which had 60 chicks stolen, experienced incidences directly due to this radical activist meeting.

“These radical individuals are not advocates – they are criminals who believe that the theft of another individual’s property is acceptable because it suits their own misguided view of the world,” said Senator Ortt. “Our hardworking farmers are the individuals responsible for filling our supermarkets and helping feed not only our families but theirs as well. They have every right to protect their families, their businesses, and their property, and they should expect their government to protect their property as well. I will continue to stand with our farmers and law enforcement agencies that seek to utilize this legislation in prosecuting any individual caught committing theft of livestock to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Protecting the rights of a citizen’s private property is rooted in the foundation of our republic,” said Assemblyman Norris. “Individuals who enter private property and steal livestock must be held fully accountable for their actions. That’s why I am proud to stand with Minority Leader Ortt and introduce this legislation in the Assembly to increase the criminal level and penalties for these offenses. Family farms across New York State are already struggling with commodity prices, farm worker wage fluctuation and navigating the rising costs of doing business. Livestock theft should be the last thing our farmers have to deal with and that’s why it’s time to increase the consequences of these actions and protect our agricultural industry.”