Why did Animal Cruelty Bill die in the legislature? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Why did Animal Cruelty Bill die in the legislature?

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JACKSON, MS (WLBT)- The felony animal cruelty bill that died in the legislature on Tuesday has received a lot of attention during the 2010 legislative session. Some are now asking what happened after it passed almost unanimously in the Senate.

The Mississippi Farm Bureau has been outspoken about their opposition to supporting this legislation.

In an interview with WLBT in January he said he would support this bill if it tailored to cats and dogs.

"We've met with different groups this summer. And I think we've all come to something we can live with. And we certainly can support something for dogs and cats," Waide said.

However, in a statement released on Friday Waide said something different.

"Farm Bureau's concern is that this type legislation will be used as a vehicle to open avenues for activists to extend their reach and push other, more extreme agendas."

Meanwhile, here's what a portion of Senate Bill 2623 states: 

If any person with malice shall torture, mutilate, maim, burn, starve, disfigure, or kill any domesticated dog or cat, every such offender for every offense shall be guilty of aggravated cruelty to a cat or dog.

Once this bill passed in the Senate, it was sent over to the House for review. It was set to go through the Agriculture committee, and Judiciary B. The Agriculture committee was set to look over the bill first. However, Chairman Greg Ward never brought it up before the committee by Tuesday's deadline.

Ward says he would support a felony animal cruelty law, but wants more expert testimony before he addresses it in front of the committee.

"We're gonna have hearings and we're gonna bring experts in to help to address these definitions, the issues in a professional way. And not in a way that's put together with a few words and a few phrases that someone thinks sounds good."

Ward says he plans to address these issues with his committee by this summer.

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