- Associated Press - Saturday, April 14, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a new law to strengthen penalties for people involved in dogfighting operations.

Starting July 1, those who promote or stage fights, bet on fights, own a dog with intent to enter it into a fight or own dogfighting paraphernalia could be sentenced to between one and five years in prison.

Repeat offenses will be punishable by fines of $5,000 to $10,000, and prison sentences of three to 10 years.

Dogfight spectators could also face felony charges and fines, and prison sentences of up to one year.

Bryant signed Senate Bill 2934 on Friday.

Democratic Sen. Bob Dearing filed the bill in response to a November bust of a dogfighting operation in his hometown of Natchez, near the Louisiana border.

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