House approves amendments to animal cruelty bill

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by Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 5:44 AM

BOISE -- Lawmakers are looking to toughen animal abuse laws by making it a felony for anyone convicted for a third time of torturing a domestic animal.

The House Agricultural Affairs Committee approved a bill Tuesday that also defines torture.

The bill supplements a 2012 law that made a third conviction of animal cruelty a felony and toughened cockfighting penalties.

The new provisions -- which have the support of the Humane Society -- would apply the torture of dogs, cats and other pets.

The additions don't apply to livestock, but some lawmakers questioned if the bill is the next step to even tighter restrictions.

Rep. Ken Andrus of Lava Hot Springs said the legislation is intended to avoid tougher laws that could emerge in ballot initiatives pushed by animal rights activists.

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