LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan lawmakers have voted to increase criminal penalties for people who abuse animals and extend the prohibition to include breeders and pet shop operators.
The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved two animal-abuse bills and sent them to the House for consideration.
The legislation (Senate Bills 285-86) would prohibit breeders and pet shop operators from abusing or neglecting animals. It also would boost prison time so those convicted of crimes involving at least 25 animals or who have three prior convictions would face up to seven years in prison.
The maximum they can get now is four years.
The bills also would create first-, second- and third-degree penalties for killing or torturing animals. The most serious offense could bring up to 10 years in prison.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)