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Introduced Version House Bill 3120 History

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hb3120 intr
H. B. 3120


(By Delegates Overington, Schadler and Brown)

[Introduced March 21, 2005; referred to the

Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §61-8-19a and §61-8-19b of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to providing the same protection from animal fighting to all animals and extending the application of criminal penalties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §61-8-19a and §61-8-19b of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 8. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY AND DECENCY.

§61-8-19a. Animal fighting ventures prohibited.

(a) (1) It is unlawful for any person to organize, aid, engage in, be employed at, or sell an admission to any animal fighting venture; or

(2) Permit any premises under his or her ownership, charge or control to be used for animal fighting; or

(3) To possess, own, train, transport or sell animals for the
purpose of animal fighting; or
(4) To possess, own, use in animal training, transport or sell any device designed to enhance an animal's fighting ability, including any of the implements commonly known as gaffs or slashers.

(b) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars, or confined in the county jail not exceeding one year, or both so fined and confined, and may be divested of ownership and control of such animals, and be liable for all costs for their care and maintenance: Provided, That if the animal is a wild animal, game animal or fur-bearing animal, as defined in section two, article one, chapter twenty of this code, or wildlife not indigenous to West Virginia, or of a canine, feline, porcine, bovine, or equine species whether wild or domesticated, the person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars and not more than five thousand dollars, and imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned, and shall be divested of ownership and control of the animals, and be liable for all costs for their care and maintenance.

§61-8-19b. Attendance at animal fighting ventures prohibited; penalty.

(a) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly attend an animal fighting venture involving animals as provided in subsections (a) and (b), section nineteen-a, article eight of this chapter.
(b) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the use of any animal in animal fighting ventures and to expand the application felony criminal penalties to include additional activities carried on for the purpose of supporting animal fighting. Attending an animal fight remains a misdemeanor.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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