Dogfighting laws need to be tougher

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 10, 2017

Mississippi’s animal cruelty laws, particularly those involving dogfighting, need to be improved.

Currently, law enforcement officers say, the state’s laws are so weak that they offer virtually no significant deterrent to engaging in the criminal activity.

In fact, investigators suggest the state’s dogfighting laws are so weak they encourage dogfighters from other nearby states to locate in Mississippi.

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We applaud efforts of Sen. Bob M. Dearing and others in working hard to improve the laws protecting some of the state’s most defenseless creatures.

An alleged dogfighting ring discovered last month in the Cranfield community prompted renewed attention on the state’s weak animal cruelty laws.

In that case a man is accused of owning what appeared to be a dogfighting farm where he raised and trained dogs to fight. Dozens and dozens of dogs were found on the site in horrible states of malnutrition and injury.

The bill Dearing plans to introduce into the Legislature next month would drastically increase the potential prison time a convicted dogfighter would face.

Our community’s firsthand experience with dogfighting uniquely positions our people to help Dearing and others tell the awful details about the brutal practice.

We encourage Dearing and others to aggressively pursue the changes ahead and assure them that Adams County is right behind them in support.