A bill that would increase penalties for some types of animal cruelty passed the Wyoming House on third reading on Tuesday.

Senate File 115 has already passed the Senate. But because representatives amended the original bill Senators will have to sign off on the amended version before it can be sent to Governor Matt Mead.

The bill would make it a felony to maliciously injure or destroy someone else's animal as long as the animal is somewhere where it is legally allowed to be such as the owner's property or a 4-H fair.

On Tuesday the House adopted an amendment by Republican Rep. Marti Halverson of Lincoln, Sublette and Teton Counties that would specifically cover animals grazing on public land.

She says she brought the amendment because it wasn't clear in the original language of the bill whether the livestock owners and their animals would be protected or not. If the bill becomes law violators could face up to two years in prison.

Wyoming law already makes it a felony for an owner to intentionally torture or kill an animal. But injuring someone else's animal is only a misdemeanor under current state law.

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