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Associated Press , Published April 04 2013

ND House passes animal cruelty measure

BISMARCK — North Dakota's House has endorsed a measure to toughen the state's animal cruelty law.

The House voted 90-1 Wednesday to make animal cruelty a felony. Senators endorsed the measure in February that would have created some felony penalties for cruelty, abandonment and neglect.

Under the House version, only cruelty would be a felony.

The measure now goes back to the Senate for consideration of the House amendments.

Cruelty to animals now is a misdemeanor, with up to year in jail and a $2,000 fine. The new measure, if approved, would make it a felony with up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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