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Long Island News

New Suffolk unit in DA's office to focus on animal and environmental crimes

Republican Ray Tierney is elected the new Suffolk County District Attorney. He defeated incumbent Democrat Tim Sini.
J.D. Allen
/
WSHU Public Radio
Republican Ray Tierney is elected the new Suffolk County District Attorney. He defeated incumbent Democrat Tim Sini.

A new unit within the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office will prosecute cases of animal abuse and environmental crimes.

The Biological, Environmental and Animal Safety Team, or BEAST, will be led by Assistant District Attorney Jed Painter. He previously worked as the chief of animal crimes in the Nassau County DA’s Office.

The unit will be made up of nine prosecutors, all with training in animal protection.

Their work will center on agriculture and market laws, which includes animal cruelty offenses, and environmental conservation regulations, which includes things like illegal hunting, overfishing and keeping banned or restricted animals as pets.

In an interview, Painter said the two areas of crime are a good fit for one unit, as many environmental offenses have an impact on animals.

Suffolk County residents can report suspected crimes to BEAST at beast@suffolkcountyny.gov.