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The Associated Press March 1, 2010, 2:16PM ET

Senate tackles cockfighting, backs livestock board

The Idaho Senate voted to make running a cockfighting operation a felony.

After passing 34-1 Monday, this goes to the House. If it becomes law, those found guilty face five years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Idaho made dogfighting a felony in 2008, but is among 11 states where cockfighting remains a misdemeanor.

Sen. Tim Corder's bill also doubles fines for misdemeanor animal cruelty and torture, while freeing up the Department of Agriculture from investigating animal neglect not involving production livestock.

Senators also voted 24-11 to create a 10-member livestock care standards advisory board of industry representatives, animal-welfare advocates and lawmakers to define rules of care for livestock and poultry. It also goes to the House.

Corder says defining acceptable industry practices must be done now on fear Idaho will be targeted by "radical animal-rights groups" with the expected arrival of big chicken farms.

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