South Dakota's laws governing the treatment of livestock and work animals will come under review this year, and changes could be made during the 2011 legislative session.
The state's laws are written broadly. They prohibit inflicting unnecessary and unjustifiable pain and suffering on animals, but they hold the standard of care to be generally accepted practices in agriculture.
Since the statutes were written, however, and even since they last were reviewed in 1991, livestock practices and the way the public views livestock have changed.
"The animal treatment laws in our state are some of the oldest on the books," said Dustin Oedekoven, the state veterinarian and executive director of the Animal Industry Board.
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