On behalf of The Humane Society of the United States, as its chief program and policy officer, I would like to express its thanks and congratulations to U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., for successfully working to pass legislation in the farm bill to crack down on illegal dogfighting and cockfighting. Cantwell’s legislation makes it a federal crime to attend or bring a child under the age of 16 to an animal fight.
The spectator admission fees and gambling dollars finance these criminal operations and make dogfighting and cockfighting profitable. Each time two animals are placed in the pit, spectators shout out bets, gambling on which animal will kill the other. At the first sign of a raid many will blend into the crowd and claim to be spectators as a way to avoid prosecution. Cantwell’s legislation will fortify the federal law and help law enforcement crack down on the entire cast of characters involved in animal fighting. It’s no wonder that more than 300 law enforcement agencies from across the country support this bill to quash illegal dogfighting and cockfighting, and forbid adults from bringing children to these spectacles of violence.
Animal welfare supporters are grateful to Cantwell for fighting against animal cruelty and standing up for the values of kindness and compassion.