AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Animal Health Commission today announced their decision to postpone consideration of mandatory premises registration until 2007.

This was welcome news for Marc Levin, director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Levin offered the following statement:

“We applaud the Texas Animal Health Commission’s decision to postpone until next year consideration of a plan to force all owners of premises with animals to register with the government. Small farmers and ranchers across the state lack the resources to administer this burdensome program that makes them criminals if they fail to register their premises and tag every animal. While this postponement is welcome news, it remains incumbent upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reconsider its scheme to eventually force every state to enact mandatory animal registration.”

Levin testified during the 79th Legislature on House Bill 1361, which empowered the Commission to develop and enforce this registration program. He urged the Legislature not to make failure to comply a criminal offense.

The Center for Effective Justice’s overcriminalization project combats the expansion of criminal law to non-traditional areas, such as the criminalization of ordinary business practices.