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SB 46 to Make Animal Cruelty a Felony; Ag Lobby Does About Face to Support

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.


  1. interested party 2014.01.13

    The law has no effect on reservations reinforcing abattoirs as economic development.

    "Wyoming, Texas and South Dakota have made rodeo their official state sport, and abusing animals is legal in these and other states as long as it is done to further this entertainment. One rodeo activity, steer busting, illustrates the problem. It requires a rider to rope a steer “with such force the steer flips in the air. The injury and death rate is so high the Nevada State Veterinarian forbids it from the National Finals Rodeo, but this is easily bypassed by holding the event in other locations,” ALDF reports. Outside a rodeo, doing the same thing could result in charges."

    Read more:

  2. mike from iowa 2014.01.13

    Depends on what your definition of cruelty is,I guess. Also depends on whose definition of cruelty is accepted. Personally,I feel that dog breeds whose faces appear to have been flattened from chasing parked cars(to the point where breathing is labored) is cruel,but then I don't much care for pets.

  3. grudznick 2014.01.13

    Kind of like how teacher merit pay is only a good idea when it's proposed by teachers. Seems to me the aggies should have the same right to write their bills themselves and not have the PETA lovers write them.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.13

    No, not at all like that, Grudz. The big ag lobby used personal attacks and outright falsehoods to discredit last year's bill. Now they are backing a bill that is more expansive.

  5. grudznick 2014.01.13

    I remember a young lady here last year talking about that bill. She seemed a nice woman but the bill was really messy people said. Sometimes when the sausage falls on the floor it gets too much sawdust in it and you just throw it away and start cranking out a new sausage.

  6. mike from iowa 2014.01.13

    Grudz-thanks to de-regulating meat inspections under dumb bass dubya,if the sausage falls on the floor it is still good enough for public consumption,regardless of the amount of fecal bacteria,dirt,grime,etc. All those nasty bacteria are actually good for you because they prop up korporate amerika's bottom line. Profit over people-the gop/usa way.

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