BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation that toughens Idaho's animal abuse laws by making it a felony for anyone convicted twice of torturing a domestic pet has cleared a hurdle in the House.

The bill would apply to torture of cats, dogs and other domestic critters, but exempts Idaho's livestock industry.

Lawmakers voted 54-14 Monday to approve the measure sponsored by Lava Hot Springs Republican Rep. Ken Andrus.

Andrus argues animal abusers sometimes go on to hurt people, so tougher animal abuse penalties could be an effective deterrent. He said the bill could also help head off ballot initiative efforts by animal rights activists seeking even tougher laws in Idaho.

Challis Republican Rep. Lenore Barrett voted against, arguing that toughening the penalty again this year opens the door for enacting even harsher consequences next year.

8 sleep tips that will help you live longer


Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.