The Pierre Capital Journal falls in with animal rights activists (and Big Ag, and the state vet, and the entire South Dakota Senate...) and says it's about time South Dakota pass Senate Bill 46 and make animal cruelty a felony:
South Dakota is poised to be the last state to pass such a law, if we do it – we’ve rejected such legislation in the past.
Think about that – we are probably one of the states that is most dependent on animals for our livelihood, yet we have had a problem over the years working out legislation that would stiffen the penalties for animal cruelty. Let’s take a lesson here from the rest of the country. This is about ordinary human decency.
We hope again that the members of the state House of Representatives agree with their Senate colleagues and pass Senate Bill 46 [editorial, "Thumbs up to Two Pieces of Good Legislation," Pierre Capital Journal, 2014.02.16].
Animal cruelty legislation isn't some evil plot from outsiders to impose their liberal critter-lovin' worldview on us. Making animal cruelty a felony is an expression of South Dakota values, of decency and basic respect for the creatures that keep South Dakotans happy, healthy, and, in many cases, wealthy.