Idaho bill would punish sheepherders who abandon animals

Idaho sheepherders who abandon their animals on the open range could soon be guilty of a crime, according to a livestock-industry proposal that seeks to enlist the state to help enforce conditions of employment.

On Monday, the Senate State Affairs Committee agreed to introduce the bill seeking to charge sheepherders with a misdemeanor for going on the lam.  Aiding or abetting somebody leaving their sheep would also be a crime.

Idaho Wool Growers Association director Stan Boyd says foreign workers who leave sheep unattended on the open range have become a big problem.

Even so, some lawmakers were skeptical.  Democratic Senator Elliot Werk of Boise questioned whether it was sensible to charge someone for simply quitting their job.   (AP)

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