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Wyoming lawmaker seeks to boost animal-cruelty fines

December 31, 2018

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming lawmaker wants to raise the state’s maximum penalties for cruelty to animals.

The crime currently is punishable by a fine up to $750 for a first-time misdemeanor and up to $5,000 for a repeat misdemeanor or felony offense.

Democratic state Sen. Mike Gierau (GAH’-roo) of Jackson, is sponsoring a bill to increase the fines to $2,500 for a misdemeanor and $10,000 for a repeat or felony conviction.

The Rock Springs Rocket-Miner reports maximum prison sentences, ranging from six months to two years, would remain the same.

Republican state Sen. Fred Baldwin of Kemmerer says the proposed penalties are appropriate but he worries whether the law would protect farmers and ranchers from being charged inappropriately.

Lawmakers may consider the bill after the Wyoming Legislature convenes Jan. 8.

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Information from: Rock Springs (Wyo.) Rocket-Miner, http://www.rocketminer.com

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