Our Voice: SD far behind on punishing animal cruelty

Farm Forum

South Dakota, by all measurements, has the weakest animal abuse penalties in the nation.

And when lawmakers during this most recent session had the chance to add felony provisions for animal abuse, they refused, making us the only state in the nation where animal abuse still brings only misdemeanor charges.

Even North Dakota, the last holdout with South Dakota, limply added tougher penalties for animal cruelty.

On Friday, an area resident will be in Brown County court on 33 counts of inhumane treatment of animals and two counts of allowing an injured or diseased animal to suffer needlessly.

All those charges are misdemeanors.