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      Nebraska Lawmakers Advance Livestock Abuse Cost Measure

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      LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Owners of livestock that are seized in abuse or neglect cases could be ordered to pay for the care of their animals, under a bill that won first-round approval from Nebraska lawmakers.

      Senators voted 34-1 on Thursday to advance the measure.

      Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala says the bill would prevent law enforcement agencies or other care-takers from having to shoulder the cost of food and medical care of seized animals.

      The bill would also let owners regain custody of their livestock if they meet conditions set by a judge. For instance, a judge could require owners to reduce the size of their herds to sustainable levels.

      Owners could be reimbursed if a judge later finds no wrongdoing on their part.

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