Otter Signs Animal Cruelty Measure - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Otter Signs Animal Cruelty Measure

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has approved a bill creating felony animal cruelty penalties in Idaho for the first time.

The plan Otter signed into law this week makes a third animal cruelty conviction in 15 years a felony, leaving the Dakotas as the only states without a felony animal brutality measure.

Organizing cockfights could also trigger felony charges if the events are accompanied by drugs and gambling. The legislation has been long sought after by animal rights activists and was spurred by their attempts to put an initiative before voters calling for much stiffer cruelty penalties.

The law exempts normal animal production practices, such as branding and castration, which has earned it support from the livestock industry.

It's among a number of bill's Otter has signed this week.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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