Animal Cruelty Bill Passes in North Dakota - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Animal Cruelty Bill Passes in North Dakota

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ND lawmakers approve tougher penalties for mistreating animals.

The House gave it's final passage on the bill this morning.

The legislation comes on the heels of a massive animal cruelty case in Morton and Burleigh counties.

Over 100 horses were found dead starved to death in pastures owned by William Kiefer.

The bill increases the penalty to a Class C felony for the most heinous cases of cruelty and for repeated abuse.

The bill breaks mistreatment into four classifications: abandonment, abuse, neglect and cruelty.

It separates pets from agriculture related animals, protecting livestock producers and their practices.

Fargo Senator Tim Flakoll says, "For the first time North Dakota now has on the books has felony for most outrageous cases of animal abuse. Repeat offenders subject to higher penalties. It sends strong message we will not tolerate inappropriate acts to animals."

The bill now goes to the governor.

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