The new version of the law increases those penalties significantly. Owners of runaway livestock would receive a warning after the first offense. If they receive a second offense within six months of their original infraction, the irresponsible farmer would be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $50.
A third offense would result in a fine of $100 to $1,000.
"I don't know of any cattle drives anymore so I believe it's overdue we update our statute," said Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson.
The bill was on track to pass during the 2012 legislative session but got caught in the end-of-session logjam.
Sen. Bob Williams, D-Taylor, said the law is not set up to penalize farmers whose livestock escape by accident. He said this legislation would crack down on farmers who just let their animals run wherever they choose.
The bill previously passed the Senate's Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. It will now go to the full Senate for a vote.