Dog fighting is already illegal in
, but supporters
of the House amendment say additional steps should be taken to prosecute those
engaged in it. The amendment would classify the ownership, breeding, training,
selling, possessing, or transferring or four-legged animals—including dogs—for
the purpose of fighting as first-degree cruelty to animals. Kentucky
is the only state in the nation
that does not regulate dog fighting like every other state,” said Rep. Joni
Jenkins, D-Shively, the sponsor of the amendment that was attached by a vote of
62-33 to Senate Bill 143. Kentucky
Jenkins said that the amended bill would not affect legal activities involving dogs including field trials, hunting, dog training, and other legal activities.
House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, asked the House to rule on whether the amendment was relevant, or “germane,” to SB 143. House Speaker Greg Stumbo ruled that the amendment is relevant, stating that dogs are used in agriculture. That ruling was or challenged, by
and Rep. Tommy Turner, R-Somerset, and the ruling stood by a vote of 43-55.
Other challenges to the amendment were also defeated. Hoover
Among those lawmakers opposing the amendment and voting against the bill was Rep. Jill York, R-Grayson.
said she feels the
amendment could impact legal activities, such as hunting. York
“I suppose everyone in here recognizes the need to protect our animals from being used in a perverse fighting environment. The trouble is that while our intentions are pure, I believe that, in this instance, our words are flawed and inadequate,” said
The amended version of SB 143 retains the original provisions of the legislation, which would define bees as “livestock” under
law. SB 143 is sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville. Kentucky
SB 143 was returned to the Senate by House members on a 75-13 vote.