HARRISBURG (AP) — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is giving its unanimous approval to toughening penalties for using body-gripping animal traps outside of the waterways for which they're designed.

Lawmakers voted Thursday to send the bill to the state Senate for its consideration.

Backers argue the larger penalties may help deter people from placing the traps where they shouldn't be, and therefore reduce the number of pets and other domestic animals getting hurt or killed.

It's already illegal to put the traps outside of waterways, marshes, ponds and dams.

Fines would be increased from their current level of a few hundred dollars to $1,000 to $1,500 if the legislation is enacted.

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