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MADISON — A Republican legislator has introduced a bill that would allow prosecutors to charge anyone who causes great bodily harm to an animal with a felony.

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Under current Wisconsin law, anyone who mutilates, disfigures or kills an animal in a cruel manner is guilty of a Class I felony punishable by up to three-and-a-half years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Rep. Evan Wynn's bill would amend those statutes to say anyone who causes great bodily harm would be guilty of a Class I felony as well. The bill defines the term as an injury that creates a substantial risk of death, causes serious permanent disfigurement or causes the loss or impairment of an internal organ's functions.

Wynn, a Whitewater Republican, is looking for co-sponsors for the legislation.

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