BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ North Dakota voters have rejected a
proposal to toughen the state's animal cruelty law.
They defeated a citizen initiative on Tuesday that would have
made animal cruelty a felony punishable by up to five years in
prison and a $5,000 fine.
The most severe punishment for animal cruelty now is a year in
jail and a $2,000 fine.
North Dakota's two major farm groups opposed the measure, saying
it was vague and poorly worded.
They say they support a broader anti-cruelty law that they want
to introduce in the North Dakota Legislature next year.
An animal rights group says the Dakotas are the only states
without felony penalties for animal mistreatment.