Senate Bill 14, as amended in the state Senate Agriculture Committee, would make the owning, possessing, breeding, training, selling or transferring of dogs intended for use in dog fighting a felony punishable by one year to five years in prison.
State Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, introduced the legislation. He said Kentucky is the only state without a similar provision in their animal cruelty laws.
Doug Morgan of the Kentucky Houndsmen Association said his group supported the bill.
“There is an old saying among coon hunters, ‘A hound dog knows the difference between being kicked and stumbled over,” he said. “I honestly believe there is nothing in this (amendment) that will come back and kick Kentucky Houndsmen. We have never advocated the fighting of dogs and never will.”
Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said legislators have worked for a year on the bill.
“I know there has been a lot of sweat equity put into this bill,” he said. “I think this is a reasonable compromise.”
Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, cast a “pass” vote in committee but emphasized she supported the intent of SB 14.
“There is nobody that supports dog fighting in this General Assembly … ,” said Webb, adding she wanted to further analyze the language in the bill.
SB 14 now goes to the full Senate for further consideration.