Breaking News! Federal Bill Just Introduced To Enforce Animal Fighting Ban In U.S. Territories

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WAN often covers the many horrors of animal fighting so we are pleased to share the news that today a bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced legislation to upgrade the federal law against dogfighting and cockfighting to clarify that the territories of the United States are not exempt from a series of legal prohibitions against animal fighting.

Reps. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Rick Nolan, D-Minn., Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., Steve Knight, R-Calif., Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., introduced the “Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement” (PACE) Act, H.R. 4202, clarifying that the federal prohibitions against animal fighting apply everywhere in the United States, including U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Cruelty to animals is not a form of entertainment; it’s a criminal act that puts both animals and humans at risk and is often associated with other criminal activities. Our treatment of animals is a reflection of who we are and we have a responsibility to treat animals in a humane manner,” said Rep. Roskam. “Strengthening the law against cockfighting and other forms of animal fighting allows us to better protect animals from this type of violence as we move to end the cruelty of animal fighting.”

Congress has upgraded the federal law against animal fighting four times in the last 15 years.

Under current federal law, it is a felony crime to sponsor or exhibit an animal in a fighting venture; to buy, sell, deliver, possess, train or transport an animal for fighting purposes; to use the Postal Service or other interstate means to promote animal fighting; to buy, sell, deliver or transport cockfighting implements; and to bring a minor to an animal fight. It is a federal misdemeanor to attend an animal fighting spectacle. The prohibitions include any animal fighting activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.

There were dozens of cockfighting arenas in Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and other states before citizens, including state and federal lawmakers, cracked down on these activities by passing anti-animal fighting statutes.

Some animal fighting occurs in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but the presence of animal fighting spectacles in these U.S. territories is precisely the reason additional federal action is needed.

Animals such as chickens and dogs are often drugged to heighten their aggression and to force them to fight for gambling and entertainment in spite of broken bones and piercing wounds. It is so perverse, there are some cases where animals fight to death.

WAN does not support the exploitation of animals for profit or entertainment purposes. The fact that anyone would find this horrific show of animal cruelty entertaining is unfathomable!

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