By The Associated Press
JACKSON – Mississippi lawmakers have passed an animal cruelty bill that includes a felony charge.
The final version of the measure passed the House on Wednesday and earlier passed the Senate. It now goes to the governor.
Under the bill, a first offense of animal cruelty is a misdemeanor. A second offense within a five-year period would be a felony. Sen. Bob Dearing says the bill is a start.
Dearing wanted a felony on a first offense. He also says the bill doesn’t include the word “kill” when describing the offense against a domesticated cat or dog.
House Agriculture Chairman Greg Ward says if someone burns or mutilates an animal, it’s understood they were trying to kill it.
The bill is Senate Bill is Senate Bill 2821.