Animal cruelty bill OK'd in key House committee

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The House Agriculture Committee has passed a bill to strengthen Mississippi’s laws against maiming and torturing cats and dogs.

Friday’s vote was significant because the same committee killed a similar bill last year.

The current bill must pass the Judiciary B Committee before going to the full House.

Spokesmen for the Humane Society of the United States and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation say both groups are happy with the compromise. The two groups had been on opposite sides before, with the Humane Society pushing for a bill and Farm Bureau Federation opposing one.

The first offense of animal cruelty would remain a misdemeanor, but subsequent offenses would be felonies.

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The bill is Senate Bill 2821.