A South Dakota legislative panel has passed a bill to make cruelty against animals a felony.
The House Judiciary committee voted 10-2 Monday in support of the measure.
South Dakota is the only state without such a law. But similar proposed legislation has failed in the past.
Supporters of the bill include representatives from throughout the agriculture industry, who say they were involved in its drafting. They say it reorganizes the law and protects the current uses of animals in agriculture and rodeo.
One opponent says it might cost the state up to $130,000 in the correctional system over 10 years and says the definitions of some terms are not clear in the bill.
It already has passed the Senate and now goes to the House floor.
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