Ark. Senate backs animal protection bills

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Senate has backed a proposal to create stiffer penalties for people who impersonate a police officer while illegally seizing an animal.

By a 28-7 vote, lawmakers approved the measure Monday and sent it to the House.

The Senate also passed a separate bill that specifies that the owner of an animal is responsible only for reasonable expenses incurred while his or her animal is in the custody of law enforcement.

The proposal is a watered-down version of a more sweeping bill that would have made it a misdemeanor to videotape livestock and poultry operations without permission from the facility's owner.

The measures that passed on Monday - both of which were sponsored by Sen. Gary Stubblefield, a Republican from Branch - now head to House committees.

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