Bill for tougher animal abuse laws passes through full House Judiciary Committee

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A bill for tougher animal abuse laws in Iowa passed through the full House Judiciary Committee.

The bill clarifies and strengthens punishments for the neglect and torture of animals

A similar bill recently passed the Senate with both going to the floor for a vote.

Some advocates call this a step in the right direction.

"Right now, we are seeing so many cases of egregious animal cruelty and the offenders are not getting appropriate sentences," Haley Anderson with the Iowa Voters for Companion Animals group. "Increasing those penalties particularly for torture. Iowa is one of only two states without a first offense felony penalty outside animal fighting."

There is currently a federal bill to make animal cruelty a nationwide felony.