Miss. lawmakers send governor animal cruelty bill

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.

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The bill is Senate Bill is Senate Bill 2821.