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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Rustling Sheep Could Be a Class 6 Felony

Most people know it’s illegal to steal things, but state legislators are considering adding sheep and goats to the list of animals that fall under a Class 6 felony. Under current state law, stealing cattle, horses, mules, buffalo, or captive nondomestic elk with a value of less than or equal to $2,500 falls under the Class 6 felony. Representative Betty Olson is the primary sponsor of House Bill 1083. Olson says there have been many cases near the oil fields where producers have lost full trailers of sheep and goats. She says she hoghoused the bill from its original form.
“When we passed it out of House Ag, it came flying out of there and went on consent, and because I had it written to be a Class 4 felony, because you know, we used to hang them, but we don’t do that anymore, but we wanted to make it really an expensive hobby to steal sheep. But anyway, that Class 4 felony was the part that sent it from the consent calendar to the governor’s kill list because it didn’t jive with Senate Bill 70,” Olson says.
Olson says sheep and goats used to be included in the statute along with the other farm animals. Members of the Senate Ag committee advanced House Bill 1083 without opposition and it now goes to the full Senate.