New York Agriculture and Markets Law § 353-a. Aggravated cruelty to animals
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1. A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no justifiable purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal with aggravated cruelty. For purposes of this section, “aggravated cruelty” shall mean conduct which: (i) is intended to cause extreme physical pain; or (ii) is done or carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner.
2. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit or interfere in any way with anyone lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping, or fishing, as provided in article eleven of the environmental conservation law, the dispatch of rabid or diseased animals, as provided in article twenty-one of the public health law, or the dispatch of animals posing a threat to human safety or other animals, where such action is otherwise legally authorized, or any properly conducted scientific tests, experiments, or investigations involving the use of living animals, performed or conducted in laboratories or institutions approved for such purposes by the commissioner of health pursuant to section three hundred fifty-three of this article.
3. Aggravated cruelty to animals is a felony. A defendant convicted of this offense shall be sentenced pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section 55.10 of the penal law provided, however, that any term of imprisonment imposed for violation of this section shall be a definite sentence, which may not exceed two years.
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