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Animal abuse bill gains support

BOSTON — A bill that would create a statewide registry of individuals convicted of animal abuse is gaining support on Beacon Hill.

The Republican-sponsored bill, which would also impose tougher fines and penalties for animal abusers, has won the backing of 75 lawmakers.

Sen. Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican, said the support proves animal welfare transcends political party.

The bill would increase the maximum penalty for cruelty to animals — including malicious killing, maiming, disfiguring, or exposing to poison — from $2,500 to $10,000.

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