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Arizona committee moves livestock cruelty bill

PHOENIX -- A bill that strips local law enforcement from enforcing animal cruelty laws on farms and other livestock operations has been moved forward by an Arizona legislative committee.

House Bill 2587 sponsored by Rep. Kate Brophy McGee also requires anyone who has photographic or video evidence of animal cruelty to report to authorities within five days.

An amendment introduced on Tuesday would allow the state Department of Agriculture to coordinate with local law enforcement on some cases of abuse.

But police say that amendment doesn't do enough to restore power to local officers.

The committee approved the bill by a 6-2 vote after more than an hour of emotional testimony from supporters, who say the bill helps relieve resources for investigating domestic animal abuse.

Opponents say it violates free-speech rights.

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