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Published April 23, 2013, 06:22 PM

Senate approves animal cruelty measures

The Senate has approved a negotiated version of the animal cruelty bill. The main change to the bill involves the process law enforcement uses in the seizure of abused, neglected or abandoned animals.

The Senate has approved a negotiated version of the animal cruelty bill. The main change to the bill involves the process law enforcement uses in the seizure of abused, neglected or abandoned animals.

The bill says an officer needs a search warrant to take an animal that has been abused or neglected but not if the officer finds an abandoned animal. The bill toughens the current law dealing with the mistreatment of animals, making the most severe abuse cases class C Felonies. The bill also seperates livestock animals from pets such as dogs and cats.

Sen Joan Heckaman, New Rockford: "So I ask all of you to approve this bill, drafted by North Dakotans for "North Dakotans and our North Dakota animals."

Sen. Joe Miller, Park River: "Farm groups and interested parties have some broad agreance on the need for this bill. The bill in the current form is reasonable. The whole policy shift here is we're toughening the law and that has to be understood by this body. We want to prosecute people who abuse animals."

The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 43-3 and now goes to the House for its final consideration.

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