Animal Cruelty Bill Passes Through House

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The Idaho House voted to advance landmark legislation this morning, which, if approved by the Senate and Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, would see animal cruelty as a felony in Idaho.

House Bill 650 would make organized cockfighting a first-offense felony if illegal drugs or gambling are involved, and a second-offense felony if razor-sharp gaffs or chemical enhancements are used. Additionally, the measure would make torturing animals a third-offense felony.

Currently, Idaho law sees the crimes as misdemeanors. According to the Idaho Humane Society, the Gem State ranks 50th in animal protection rankings.

Today's vote was 64-4 in favor of the legislation.

The bill now heads to the Idaho Senate for consideration.