Wisconsin Senate approves bill making bestiality a felony

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Senate has approved a bill that would make bestiality a felony.

Having sex with an animal is a misdemeanor under current law. The bill would create a new crime punishable by up to 12 1/2 years in prison. Sentences would vary depending on the circumstances, such as whether the animal dies and whether a child is present or coerced into sex with an animal. Convicts would have to register as sex offenders.

The measure's author, Republican Sen. Andre Jacque, introduced the same bill during the last legislative session after a Town of Eaton man was convicted of molesting a horse. The Assembly passed the bill but it died in the Senate.

This time around the Senate approved the bill on a voice vote Tuesday with no debate.