Gov. Snyder signs bills to increase penalties for dog fighting
LANSING— State Sen. Rick Jones announced on Thursday that Gov. Rick Snyder signed a series of bills that increases penalties for those who engage in dogfighting.
“This package of legislation sends a clear message that dogfighting will not be tolerated in Michigan,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge.
The legislation is a bipartisan effort between Jones, Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, and Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township.
Jones’ measure, Public Act 350, would subject the property of a person convicted of being involved in animal fighting to forfeiture.
PA 351, sponsored by LaFontaine, would allow the place where the illegal conduct took place to be declared a nuisance, allowing local authorities to padlock the property.
Bieda’s bill, PA 352 , would subject the groups that engage in animal fighting for material gain to prosecution under the racketeering (RICO) statute, which could result in longer prison sentences and/or greater fines.
All three bills are strongly supported by the Michigan Humane Society, American Humane Society and the Animal Law Section of the Michigan State Bar.