January 25, 2011 3:14:00 PM
JACKSON - The Senate Judiciary B Committee passed a bill Tuesday that would make animal cruelty a felony in Mississippi.
Under the bill, a person could be charged with aggravated cruelty for torturing, mutilating, maiming, burning, starving, disfiguring or killing any domesticated dog or cat.
Judiciary B Chairman Gray Tollison, a Democrat from Oxford, says a person can be charged with a misdemeanor for such acts under current law.
Anyone convicted of the crime could face between one and five years in prison.
Tollison has said Mississippi is one of four states without a felony law for abuse of pets.
The bill, Senate Bill 2127, goes to the full Senate for debate.