This Friday, March 6, the Connecticut Joint Environment Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on HB 5338, which seeks to prohibit the sale of animal fighting paraphernalia. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes the difficulties in prosecuting those who engage in animal fighting under current law, which requires catching individuals in the act. However, this bill defines “animal fighting paraphernalia” as any equipment, product or material of any kind that is used, intended for use or designed for use in the training, preparation, conditioning or furtherance of animal fighting, including, but not limited to, treadmills, jump poles, and flirt poles. Nothing in the bill describes how a court would distinguish one’s intent in using equipment or products for legitimate training and conditioning of dogs from illegitimate animal fighting purposes.
- As responsible dog owners and breeders, we strongly condemn dog fighting and support state laws making any form of participation in organized dog fights a felony.
- Equipment defined as “animal fighting paraphernalia” in HB 5338 includes, but is not limited to, equipment commonly used for legitimate training and conditioning of dogs.
- Please amend the bill to ensure that evidence of one’s criminal intent can be proven.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Attend the hearing on Friday, March 6, 2020, at 10:30am in Room 2B of LOB, State Capitol, 210 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT and sign up to testify starting at 9:00am in the First Floor Atrium of the LOB. Any individual wishing to sign up after the start of the public hearing may do so with the Committee staff inside the hearing room. Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to email@example.com.
- Concerned residents not attending the hearing are also encouraged to email written testimony in Word or PDF format to the Committee members directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC GR at email@example.com.