Sources: The Examiner, Blumenthal.senate.gov, Thehill.com, Animal Rescue Mission
Editor’s Note: Learn more about illegal cock, dog, stallion and hog dog fighting from Animal Rescue Mission (ARM) founded by Richard Couto
Some of the gridlock in Washington D.C. has started to thaw as the lame duck session of the United States Senate begins its final business for the year. One product of that is the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which unanimously passed the senate Dec. 4 and will now make its way to The House of Representatives. Many insiders believe that the finalized bill will make its way to the president’s desk before Christmas. This legislation would establish a federal prison sentence or fine for spectators who knowingly attend an animal fight. The legislation would also strengthen penalties for spectators who knowingly bring children to an animal fight.
Currently, federal law against animal fighting has one remaining loophole: Attendance at an animal fight is not a federal crime. This legislation would close that loophole. Spectators of animal fights pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in admission fees and gambling bets, which allows this blood sport to continue to exist and remain profitable.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal was the first to introduce the bill known at S. 1947. According to thehill.com, Blumenthal was quoted saying:
“Animal fighting is a cruel blood sport that involves maiming and torturing – and encourages other criminal wrongdoing. Unfortunately, this despicable activity continues to exist throughout the country, well-financed by spectators who enable the fighting and engage in illegality like drug dealing, extortion, and assault. Because these crimes often involve actors from a number of different states, local law enforcement simply lacks the authority to crack down and pursue animal fighting organizers. My legislation not only prohibits all individuals from knowingly attending an animal fight, but also strengthens the penalties for those who bring children to animal fights – closing a final key loophole in federal animal fighting law. I am grateful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have come together to pass this truly bipartisan bill, which will help put an end to this activity.”
In specific the legislation reads:
Attending an animal fighting venture: Whoever violates subsection (a) (2) (A) of section 26 of The Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2156) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both, for each violation.
The law goes on to say that if a child is forced to attend an animal fight that the person responsible for bringing the child will face 3 years in prison on top of their sentence, if convicted. Animal rights groups like The Humane Society, and the ASPCA have both come out heavily in favor of this legislation. Both groups have spent some time lobbying various legislators to help this legislation pass.
Overall The Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act was sponsored by 13 other senators. 9 Democrats, and 4 Republicans. Their names are:
(D) Maria Cantwell, (D) Diane Feinstein, (D) Kirsten Gillibrand, (D) John Kerry
(D) Mary Landrieu, (D) Jeff Merkley, (D) Barbara Mikulski, (D) Patty Murray
(D) Ron Wyden, (R) Scott Brown, (R) Susan Collins, (R) Mark Kirk, (R) David Vitter