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Senate Panel Advances Bill Aimed at Strengthening Dogfighting Laws

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A state senate panel has okayed a measure aimed at beefing up Kentucky’s laws against dogfighting. While the act of dog fighting is illegal across Kentucky, contributing activities are not. The Senate Agriculture Committee approved Tuesday legislation to prohibit owning, breeding, or training dogs for the purpose of fighting. 

Shelbyville Senator Paul Hornback is the bill’s sponsor. “The dogs that are tied up out back, scarred up and everything that you can assume are probably being used for fighting, that then you can go in and have a reason to go in and check them. Right now they cannot do anything with them," Hornback says.

Melodie Zentall with the Kentucky Coalition for Animal Protection says there are many benefits to the legislation but she worries the bill may not stop fighting between dogs and other animals. “Let’s face it, if there’s some kind of a sport of that nature that can be done, somebody will try to do it, unfortunately," she says.

The Kentucky Houndsmen Association also supports the bill. However, President Doug Morgan says his group’s dogs’ interactions with other animals, as part of hunting activities, should be protected. Bill Sponsor Paul Hornback says passage of the measure would allow police to investigate when they see dogs tied up and scarred. He says under current law, officers cannot.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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