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Utah representatives say people harassing livestock with aerial drones, dogs, all-terrain vehicles or other vehicles should face possible jail time.

The House voted 71-0 on Monday to pass HB217, and sent it to the Senate.

Bill sponsor, Rep. Scott Chew, R-Jensen, a rancher, said he's pushing HB217 because of an incident in his county were someone chased baby calves "running over them and simply being obnoxious." He said police found they lacked laws to charge them.

His bill would make a first offense a Class B misdemeanor, carrying a possible six-month jail term, as long as no livestock are killed or injured or scattered into areas where they are not allowed. Subsequent offenses would be a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail, as would any incidents that kill or harm an animal.

Chew said the bill would allow "shooing away" animals from areas they should not be, "but not tormenting them."

After the bill passed unanimously, House members jokingly mooed as a sign of their approval.

While not mentioned in House debate, HB217 has been criticized by the Humane Society of the United States.

The organization complained the bill may prevent the public from getting close enough to livestock to expose any mistreatment of animals by ranchers.

— Lee Davidson