Bieda Passes Legislation to Prevent Animal Cruelty
LANSING- Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren) applauded the bipartisan passage of his legislation designed to curb dog fighting. If enacted, the new law would add animal fighting to the state's racketeering provisions. This would allow the state to seize proceeds and property associated with the crime. Despite being illegal for over a century, dog fighting is still an on-going problem in Michigan and across the country. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.
"I believe that removing the prospect of financial gain will serve to further discourage individuals from engaging in this brutal and barbaric crime," said Senator Bieda. "There is a strong correlation between those who abuse animals and those who abuse humans. Punishing those who commit acts of violence against animals may also help to stem future violence against people."
While significant criminal penalties exist for those who engage in dog fighting, the law is largely silent on the economic aspect of the crime. Thousands of dollars can exchange hands for just one fight, making the potential financial gain outweigh other possible penalties. Dog fighting operations often involve multiple crimes, such as tax evasion and gambling and the fights usually draw individuals who engage in other illicit activities involving weapons and drugs.
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