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Wednesday, July 26, 2017, 3:35 a.m.

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Animal cruelty bill signed into law

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 4, 2009 at 3:11 p.m.

— A bill making aggravated cruelty to cats, dogs and horses a felony on the first offense has been signed into law.

Gov. Mike Beebe on Wednesday signed the bill that makes aggravated animal cruelty on first offense punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to six years in prison. The bill also includes a five-year sentencing enhancement for anyone convicted of torturing an animal in the presence of a child.

Animal-welfare groups had sparred with farmers and hunters over past attempts to stiffen the state's animal cruelty laws, but supported this bill after negotiating a compromise.

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