South Dakota would become the last state in the nation to make animal cruelty a felony under a bill that received the legislature's final approval Tuesday. The House voted 54-15 to pass the measure, which was approved earlier by the Senate. It will become law if signed by Governor Dennis Daugaard. Similar bills have failed in past years amid fears they could interfere with the livestock industry, but this year's measure was written in a cooperative effort led by State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven. Livestock groups, law enforcement officials, veterinarians, local animal control officials and some welfare supporters worked on the bill. Current South Dakota law makes inhumane treatment of animals a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of $4,000. Republican State Senator Shantel Krebs spoke on Dakota Midday about the bill.
Animal Cruelty Closer To Being A Felony In SD
By Nathan Puhl • Mar 12, 2014