JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An 18-year-old man was charged with animal cruelty and resisting an officer after witnesses reported the suspect had a headless duck in one hand and a knife in the other. ...So why is this a crime? If this were done by a restaurant, a farmer, or a hunter, no one would question it. Duck is good food, and cutting off its head is as good as what the slaughterhouses do.
According to the report, witnesses said Main was attempting to show off when he captured and killed a duck, saying he planned on cooking it.
Officers said there was a barbeque grill with a fresh fire blazing on the patio when they arrived. They also said a half-empty bottle of spiced rum was on the patio, and "it was apparent from the suspect's breath and demeanor that he had been consuming alcohol."
I can see where it might be crime to kill someone's pet, or to hunt out of season, but this is not animal cruelty. But this seems to be a trend. I've heard a bunch of stories like this, where someone was arrested for animal cruelty, but where there is no real cruelty. Just someone who disapproved of someone else's treatment of an animal. It makes the law very vague, because there is hardly anything that you can do with an animal that will not cause someone to disapprove.