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Published November 06, 2012, 09:55 PM

North Dakota voters reject tougher animal cruelty law

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota voters have rejected a proposal to toughen the state's animal cruelty law.

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.

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