Northern Marianas passes animal protection bill

2:13 pm on 21 October 2019

The Northern Marianas House of Representatives has passed a bill to protect animal rights.

A cat in the bush

A cat in the bush Photo: 123RF

It was the third attempt to get the legislation through.

The bill, which passed last week, makes it a misdemeanour to abuse an animal, which will be punishable by a fine of up to $US500 and 250 hours of community service at an animal shelter or suchlike.

The punishment will be imposed on people who mistreat, abandon, or neglect animals.

It also imposes heavier consequences if the animal dies or suffers bodily injury as a result of the abuse.

But exemptions in the bill include conduct consistent with traditional practices - including hunting, fishing, slaughter for personal consumption and cockfighting.