Anti-Animal Fighting Measure Clears Important House Vote

Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 1:00pm
ASPCA responder holding pit bull

Late last night, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee approved an amendment to the House Farm Bill to strengthen our nation’s laws against animal fighting. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), would make attending an organized animal fight a federal offense and impose additional penalties for bringing a child to an animal fight. This amendment is similar to the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, standalone legislation with strong bipartisan support from 147 cosponsors introduced by Reps. Tom Marino (R-PA), John Campbell (R-CA), Jim Moran (D-VA) and McGovern.

“Animal fights are cruel and gruesome spectacles where animals are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” said Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “Children need protection from the dangerous culture of animal fighting, as well as its associated illegal activities such as drugs, weapons and gambling. The ASPCA applauds Representative McGovern and all our Congressional leaders for their continued leadership in strengthening laws to combat animal fighting and protect public safety.”

While clearing the House Agriculture Committee is a major success, we can’t declare victory just yet. The U.S. Senate’s version of the Farm Bill also includes the anti-animal fighting provisions, but both bills still must pass in their chambers of origin. Once that is achieved, the House and Senate have to reconcile any language differences prior to full passage.

We’d like to thank all the representatives on the House Agriculture Committee who voted to include the animal fighting spectator prohibition language in the House Farm Bill. If you see your rep in the list below, tell him or her thank you! You can find your rep’s contact info here.

Glenn Thompson5th-PA
Austin Scott8th-GA
Scott Tipton3rd-CO
Martha Roby2nd-AL
Jeff Denham10th-CA
Richard Hudson8th-NC
Rodney Davis13th-IL
Chris Collins27th-NY
Ted Yoho3rd-FL
Mike McIntyre7th-NC
David Scott13th-GA
Jim Costa16th-CA
Tim Walz1st-MN
Kurt Schrader5th-OR
Marcia Fudge11th-OH
Jim McGovern2nd-MA
Suzan DelBene1st-WA
Filemon Vela34th-TX
Michelle Lujan Grisham1st-NM
Ann McLane Kuster2nd-NH
Rick Nolan8th-MN
Pete Gallego23rd-TX
Juan Vargas51st-CA
Cheri Bustos17th-IL
Sean Patrick Maloney18th-NY
Joe Courtney2nd-CT
John Garamendi3rd-CA

Please be a voice for animals—join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade and we’ll let you know when it’s time to contact members of Congress about this and other important animal-related bills.