Gov. signs harsher animal cruelty legislation into law

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation that would increase penalties for people associated with animal fighting and animal cruelty crimes.

"This legislation provides law enforcement the tools they need to put a stop to animal fighting," Snyder said.

The bill allows for the seizure of homes and cars in cases involving animal fighting where the property either directly or materially contributed to the crime.

Another component of the legislation adds animal fighting, shooting and baiting to the list of racketeering crimes. The bill provides prosecutors with tools to stop animal fighting, making it punishable by law to conspire with, aid or intimidate anyone to commit an animal fighting crime for financial gain.

The last part of the bill gives law enforcement the ability to shut down any venue found to be associated with animal fighting. The bill also allows for the removal and sale of any personal property found within the premises.

The bills will now be known as Public Acts 350-352 of 2012.