JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Senate has passed a bill that would make it a felony to torture or maim cats or dogs.
The bill passed Thursday with bipartisan support. The bill moves to the House.
Democratic Sen. Gray Tollison of Oxford says Mississippi is 1 of 4 states without a felony animal-cruelty law. The others are North Dakota, South Dakota and Idaho.
Some senators raised concerns that people could be charged for accidentally shooting dogs while deer hunting. Tollison says charges could only be filed if the shooting is intentional or malicious.
Lawmakers say people could still protect themselves or their property from vicious animals.
The bill is Senate Bill 2623.
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