February 22, 2012
Animal Advocates Lobby Mississippi Lawmakers on Animal Fighting Legislation
During Humane Lobby Day 2012, citizens from across Mississippi met with lawmakers at the state Capitol and urged stiffer fines for cockfighting and swift action to prevent a return of hog-dog fighting. The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA® co-sponsored the event.
Hog-dog fighting is a gruesome spectacle in which dogs chase and bring down penned hogs, often severely or fatally injuring the animals. Hog-dog fighting has been banned in Mississippi but the law could be undone through a sunset provision that goes in to effect this year—a giant step backward for the animals in the state.
“Mississippi has recently made great strides in improving the lives of animals in the state,” said Lydia Sattler, The HSUS’ Mississippi state director. “Local animal advocates are encouraged by these gains, and we now urge lawmakers to permanently ban hog-dog fighting and increase the fine for cockfighting to match other misdemeanor crimes in Mississippi.”
“Humane Lobby Day is a unique opportunity for animal advocates from across the state to meet with their elected officials and have their voices heard,” said Sherry Rout, ASPCA legislative director, southern region. “It's important for Mississippi lawmakers to hear from their constituents to improve the state’s animal cruelty laws and enact stronger laws to protect animals against such inherently cruel activities as animal fighting.”
The Magnolia state continues to rank low in The HSUS’ national survey of animal protection laws, coming in 47th out of all states and the District of Columbia in 2011. Mississippi moved up a spot from its 2010 ranking because of the passage of a new law making egregious acts of cruelty to dogs and cats a felony on the second offense. However, Mississippi remains one of the few states in the nation with no felony penalties for cockfighting, which hurt its ranking.
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