12 April 2007
Victory Won To Stop Animal
Fighting in U.S.
A six year battle by The Humane Society
of the United States to stop animal fighting has been won
despite strong legal opposition by the cockfighting lobby
who poured hundreds of thousands of dollars in to hinder
The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed
the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act followed
by the passing of the same bill last month.
Nearly every week, there are reports
of dog fighting and cockfighting crimes in the United States.
It is a vast underground network of people who revel in
seeing animals tear one another apart and gamble on the
outcomes of the staged spectacles. Now federal law enforcement
officials have the tools they need to uproot these underground
animal fighting enterprises and put a halt to the the abhorrent
cruelty inflicted on dogs, birds and other animals.
The HSUS has documented the cruelty
associated with animal fighting, but also a range of other
criminal practices, such as narcotics trafficking, gambling,
and violence against people.
The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement
Act establishes a felony-level penalty of up to three years
of jail time for any interstate or foreign transport of
animals for fighting purposes (until now only a misdemeanour)
and makes it a crime to move cockfighting weapons in interstate
or foreign commerce.
Animal Fighting Violence
The fighting dog's life is one of
misery. Valued only for their ability to win, dogs who survive
a match often receive little care for their injuries and
are barely provided with the basics they need to survive—food,
water and shelter. Many live on chains or in stacked cages
in extended isolation, only getting off for training or
dog’s life is full of misery
Fights may last for as long as two
hours, with dogs often succumbing to shock and blood loss.
There is also no rescue for fighting dogs, as confiscated
fighting dogs are typically euthanized due to their unsuitability
Wayne Pacelle, the President and
CEO of The Humane Society of the United States in his press
release claims victory and a “joyous day for animals”
stating “Animal fighting pits will be closing throughout
"With the passage of one of
the strongest animal protection laws in the nation, we expect
to see many cockfighters and dogfighters pack it in and
stop flouting the law," added Pacelle. "But some
dogfighters and cockfighters will not cease their criminal
activities, and The HSUS will do all within its power to
find these operators and bring these would-be felons to
The legislation now is headed to
the desk of President Bush, who is expected to sign the
measure into law. The new law will take effect immediately.
HSUS President states, “I can assure you that this
is a dark and long-dreaded day in the dogfighting and cockfighting
worlds… This victory reminds us to never give up and
that there are rewards for compassionate action and perseverance.
Unfortunately despite a penalty of
up to $75,000 for offenders, animal fighting still exists
in Australia. A seizure by RSPCA inspectors of cocks and
cockfighting equipment were reported on in the media as
recently as 11/4/07. For photos go to: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/gallery/0,23816,5022435-17382,00.html