Long arm of livestock law

by Erica Shaffer
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Two Oklahoma state legislators introduced bills that would increase penalties for cattle theft.

Oklahoma Sen. Eddie Fields authored SB 299, and Rep. Casey Murdock authored HB 1387. Under both bills, anyone convicted of cattle theft can face jail time and fines in addition to higher financial penalties and increased jail time.

Specifically, a felony conviction for any livestock theft could result in a prison sentence of 5 to 15 years. Current law allows three to 10 years imprisonment. Financial penalties include a fine equal to three times the value of the animals and machinery that were stolen, but not more than $750,000, an increase from $500,000.

The Oklahoma Agriculture, Food and Forestry Department listed 236 head of cattle stolen in 2014.
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