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GA - Dog fighting bill resurfaces for '07 legislative session

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  • Karen Loveless
    Dog fighting bill resurfaces for ’07 legislative session 01/03/2007 By Dave Williams Staff Writer HYPERLINK
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2007
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      Dog fighting bill resurfaces for �07 legislative session



      01/03/2007
      By Dave Williams
      Staff Writer
      HYPERLINK
      "mailto:dave.williams@..."dave.williams@gwinnettdailypost.
      com

      ATLANTA � For the third year in a row, a Senate Republican leader is pushing
      legislation to crack down on organized dog fighting in Georgia.
      A bill prefiled for the 2007 legislative session by Sen. Chip Rogers,
      R-Woodstock, would make it a felony to own, house or train dogs for
      fighting, promote or stage dog fighting exhibitions or bet on the outcome of
      dog fights.
      Adult spectators could be charged with a misdemeanor.
      Organized dog fighting has been a lucrative underground business off and on
      in Georgia for decades.
      The practice disappeared during the early 1980s after the Georgia Bureau of
      Investigation and animal rights activists convinced the General Assembly to
      make fighting dogs a felony, GBI spokesman John Bankhead said Tuesday.
      But it has come back in recent years as operators of dog fighting rings have
      discovered loopholes in the law, he said.
      �You�ve got to catch them fighting for a felony to be in effect,�� he said.
      Rogers first introduced his bill two years ago. But it fell by the wayside
      after some sportsmen complained that its vague language might be construed
      as prohibiting training dogs to hunt. Others were worried that it might
      affect training seeing-eye dogs.
      The Senate passed the measure last year but amended it on the floor to cover
      cockfighting as well as dog fighting.
      Rogers objected to the change, arguing that broadening it to cockfighting
      would doom its chances of getting through the Legislature. Indeed, it
      subsequently failed to reach the House floor.
      Rogers, who could not be reached on Tuesday, told a Senate committee last
      year that the extent of dog fighting in Georgia first came to his attention
      when a 3-year-old boy in his district was attacked by a pit bull that had
      been trained to fight.
      However, one of the biggest dogfighting busts in recent years came in 2004
      in Newton County, with about 180 arrests.
      Newton Sheriff Joe Nichols said that event was supposed to have taken place
      to the south in Jones County, but organizers moved it when they discovered
      that authorities had gotten wind of it.
      �I hope we never see another one,�� he said. �That was a bad experience. It
      was pitiful.��
      The new bill makes no mention of cockfighting. It also specifically states
      that none of its provisions would apply to the training of dogs for hunting
      or fishing, working with livestock or for law enforcement purposes.

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      Karen Loveless

      North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare Secretary/Treasurer HYPERLINK
      "http://www.ncvaw.org/"www.NCVAW.org
      Pom Rescue Board member HYPERLINK
      "http://www.pomrescue.com/"www.PomRescue.com
      Don't buy from mass breeders! HYPERLINK
      "http://www.prisonersofgreed.org/"http://www.prisonersofgreed.org/


      * picture of a typical puppy mill *



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