MEXICO CITY—Mexico City lawmakers have approved prison terms for animal cruelty, previously considered a civil offense sanctioned with fines and detentions.

The capital's legislative assembly unanimously agreed that people who intentionally abuse and cause animals harm will face up to two years in prison and pay up to $500. If the animal is killed, they can face up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Antonio Padierna, president of the assembly's law enforcement and justice committee, said late Friday that if animals are killed for food, the death must be quick and not cause pain.

The lawmakers agreed current administrative laws weren't doing enough to end animal cruelty. In Mexico City, animals are sometimes killed by being burned, beaten or shot.