A coalition of South Dakota groups representing agriculture, law enforcement and animal welfare say they’ll ask state legislators to pass a law making animal cruelty a felony. The group led by South Dakota State Vet Dr. Dustin Oedekoven has been working on the measure and hope to have it introduced sometime this session. He says a major part of their legislation clarifies that standard accepted livestock raising practices are not mistreatment.
Oedekoven says their proposed legislation is a compromise worked out by the livestock and animal welfare groups that enhances protections for animals but doesn’t hamper livestock practices.
He says their bill brings South Dakota up to speed with all of the other states that make animal cruelty a felony. He says it’s important to refine current law and avoid needless and costly ballot measures that come from extremist groups.
Oedekoven says their measure makes it a felony to commit certain acts of malicious, intentional torture and mutilation against animals.