ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico has earned another embarrassing ranking.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund says the state joins Kentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa as one of the five best states to be an animal abuser.
The group says it ranks states based on a comprehensive analysis of animal protection laws.
Among the problems it cites in New Mexico: no felony provisions for neglect or abandonment, no provisions on sexual assault, no restrictions on future ownership for people previously convicted of animal abuse, no increased penalties when animal abuse is committed in front of children and no provisions for veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse. In addition, the report says humane officers lack broad enforcement authority, and the state has inadequate animal fighting provisions.
Illinois tops the group's list for the strongest animal protection laws.