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“The Pioneer Family” statue seen in front of the North Dakota State Capitol on July 14, 2016, in Bismarck. Forum file photo

North Dakota House kills animal cruelty bill

BISMARCK — Lawmakers of the North Dakota House voted overwhelmingly Monday, Jan. 28, to kill a bill that aimed to tighten animal cruelty.

Rep. Mary Adams, D-Grand Forks, introduced House Bill 1445 to prevent convicted animal abusers from acquiring other animals. The House Agriculture Committee heard the bill Thursday, giving it a 13-1 do-not-pass recommendation.

Rep. Craig Headland, R-Montpelier, was vocal in his opposition to the bill in committee, pointing to animal agriculture practices that could be affected by the bill’s “broad language.”

Proponents pointed to what they said are poor animal cruelty laws in the state and described abused animals they have seen.

The bill failed with a 9-80 vote. Rep. Bill Tveit, R-Hazen, said committee members struggled with several aspects of the bill, such as definitions, liability and enforcement.