Senate passes Idaho animal cruelty bill
The Senate overwhelmingly backed a bill that would charge repeat animal-cruelty offenders with a felony.
The bill passed on a 31-1 vote Thursday, and it now heads to the house. The bill would make a 3rd animal-cruelty conviction within 15 years, a felony crime punishable with prison time.
The measure is being pushed by the Idaho livestock industry, because it's trying to prevent a stricter voter initiative proposed by animal-rights advocates.
“This is one way we can make a little progress, and even though it was to some degree to stop more astringent laws, it’s still a good first step," said Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise.
Many proponents support the measure, but believe it could go further to target animal torture.
Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota are the only remaining states in the U.S. without felony animal cruelty laws.