Senate Bill 46, a bill to end South Dakota's status as the only state in the Union not to punish cruelty to animals as a felony, is in the hopper!
When South Dakotans Fighting Animal Cruelty Together brought forward a bill last year to make cruelty to dogs, cats, and horses a felony, legislators and industrial agriculture lobbyists blasted it as unnecessary and dangerous legislation. The conservative blogosphere called the bill a "rabid dog" that deserved to be put down.
But when the ag lobby and state officials help draft an animal cruelty bill that's even tougher than last year's bill, expanding the felony punishment to cruelty for all vetebrates and banning animal fighting to boot, SDFACT's idea is suddenly long overdue legislation. So sayeth the South Dakota Pork Producers Council:
The South Dakota Pork Producers Council is one of the groups backing proposed legislation calling for making animal cruelty a felony. Incoming President Lester Moeller says South Dakota needs to get up to speed on the issue. He says producers care about their animals and don’t support abuse in any way [Tom Riter, "South Dakota Pork Group Supporting Proposed Animal Cruelty Bill," WNAX, 2014.01.10].
Animal cruelty legislation is a bad idea when it comes from regular citizens. Animal cruelty legislation is a great idea when it comes from big industry. Carry on.