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Cuomo Signs Law Making Attending Animal Fights A Misdemeanor

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The possible penalty for attending an animal fight in New York is going up.

A new law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo raises the infraction from a violation to a misdemeanor with penalties up to three months in jail and $500 fines.

LISTEN: WCBS 880's Monica Miller reports


Judges already can impose fines up to $250 and up to 15 days in jail for a violation.

Deborah Bresh from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says they are pleased with the change.

"We've gone from a traffic-style violation to a crime," said Bresh. "Being a spectator at an animal fight has not even been a crime up until this point."

Bresh also says it doesn't have to be proven that the violator wagered on the fight.

More than 30 people were arrested last February in Suffolk County after police raided a Long Island rooster fighting operation.

The ASPCA says hosting fights on your property and training animals to fight are already felonies in New York.

The new law takes effect in 30 days.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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