Update April 1, 2010: The Hawaii and Massachusetts bills did not pass.
Update Oct. 12, 2009: California AB 242 has now been signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.The law increase sthe penalty for the crime of being a spectator at a dog fight to imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both.
Update June 24: The Texas bill, S.B. 554, has been signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry. This bill makes it illegal to own equipment used for training dogs to fight or for other dog fighting purposes.
Under the new law such equipment could be forfeited.
For more on other dog fighting bills introduced this year, read Animal Law Coalition’s report below.
As Michael Vick hopes to return to professional football and angles for a book deal, a reality television show, state legislatures are continuing to try to stop animal fighting.
Massachusetts may add to its arsenal by passing HB 1466Â which would make it a crime to "create, sell, rent or lease" dog fighting paraphernalia defined to include photos, videos, movies, and the like, in any medium including internet, whether downloadable or streaming or otherwise; andÂ audio recordings. Violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up tp $500 and a year in jail.
Massachusetts is also considering H.B. 1969 which would allow authorities to petition for an order requiring the posting of security for animals seized in cruelty and fighting cases. Animals could be forfeited if security is not posted.
(UPDATE: The Hawaii legislature has adjourned and these bills have been held over to be considered next year.)
A new dog fighting law has passed bothÂ the state House and Senate. But the versions differ, and a conference committee has been appointed to reconcile the differences.
The House version of the bill, H.B. 730, would basically rewrite the current dog fighting law and make more activities associated with dog fighting a felony:
(1) Causes, sponsors, arranges, or holds a dogfight;
(2) Owns, trains, transports, possesses, breeds, sells, transfers, or equips any dog" for fighting;
(3) Allows premises to be used for fighting;
(4) Allows property to be used for housing, keeping, training or transporting fighting dogs.
It would be a misdemeanor to gamble or pay to attend a dog fight or possess any "device" to train a dog to fight or enhance the animal’s fighting ability. Device can include a bait animal.
The Senate version, S.B. 763, basically would not require proof of entertainment or financial gain as a reason for 2,3,4 or the misdemeanor crimes above.