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SD Eyes Animal Cruelty Penalties Law
Tue Jan 7, 2014 03:36 PM CST

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- Animal cruelty could become a felony in South Dakota under a proposal intended to end years of debate on the subject by satisfying the concerns both of animal welfare groups and livestock producers, State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said Tuesday.

South Dakota currently makes inhumane treatment of animals a misdemeanor, and some animal welfare groups have said it's the only state without felony penalties for animal mistreatment.

The Legislature has repeatedly rejected animal cruelty measures amid concerns from livestock producers. The proposal that state agriculture officials plan to present to the Legislature this year would make it ...

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