STATUTES OF NORTH CAROLINA
CHAPTER 14. CRIMINAL LAW.
XI. GENERAL POLICE REGULATIONS.
ARTICLE 47. CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.
14-360. Cruelty to animals; construction of section
(a) If any person shall
intentionally overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, kill, or deprive of
necessary sustenance, or cause or procure to be overdriven, overloaded, wounded,
injured, tormented, killed, or deprived of necessary sustenance, any animal, every
such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
If any person shall maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure,
poison, or kill, or cause or procure to be tortured, mutilated, maimed, cruelly
beaten, disfigured, poisoned, or killed, any animal, every such offender shall
for every such offense be guilty of a Class I felony. However, nothing in this
section shall be construed to increase the penalty for cockfighting provided for
in G.S. 14-362.
(c) As used in this section, the words "torture",
"torment", and "cruelly" include or refer to any act, omission,
or neglect causing or permitting unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death. As used
in this section, the word "intentionally" refers to an act committed
knowingly and without justifiable excuse, while the word "maliciously"
means an act committed intentionally and with malice or bad motive. As used in
this section, the term "animal" includes every living vertebrate in
the classes Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia except human beings. However,
this section shall not apply to the following activities:
(1) The lawful
taking of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Wildlife Resources
Commission, except that this section shall apply to those birds exempted by the
Wildlife Resources Commission from its definition of "wild birds" pursuant
to G.S. 113-129(15a).
(2) Lawful activities conducted for purposes of biomedical
research or training or for purposes of production of livestock, poultry, or aquatic
(2a) Lawful activities conducted for the primary purpose of providing
food for human or animal consumption.
(3) Activities conducted for lawful
(4) The lawful destruction of any animal for the purposes of protecting
the public, other animals, property, or the public health
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