West Virginia Gov. Ed Tomblin signed a bill significantly increasing fines for participating in or attending an animal fight and enacting felony-level penalties for repeat offenders. HB 4201 also prohibits gambling on an animal fight, bringing a minor to an animal fight and possessing or training an animal for fighting.

Heather Severt, West Virginia state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said: “These upgrades to the law in West Virginia are crucial deterrents to illegal cockfighting and dogfighting. We applaud Governor Tomblin and the West Virginia legislature for recognizing animal fighting as a serious crime and for refusing to allow our state to be a safe haven for the barbaric activity.”

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