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House considering requiring reports of livestock abuse

New Hampshire’s House is considering requiring people witnessing cruelty to livestock to report the incident or face a $250 fine.

The House is scheduled to vote on a bill today that requires reports to be filed with the police within 48 hours. People taking pictures or videotaping intentional cruelty to livestock or poultry would have the same duty to tell the police they have evidence of the abuse. The bill defines cruelty as torturing, maiming, lacerating or grossly overworking livestock or poultry or transporting them in a cruel manner.

Supporters said that people claiming they need to document the abuse over time are allowing the abuse to continue.

But opponents said the bill made it a crime to fail to report abuse even if someone knew nothing about agriculture.

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