Senate Votes to Criminalize Animal Fight Attendance

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 10:15am

Great news for animals nationwide! On June 21, the U.S. Senate took a huge step toward strengthening federal laws against animal fighting by approving the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which had been a stand-alone bill in the Senate (S. 1947), as part of that chamber’s version of the Farm Bill.

This humane measure would make it a federal offense to knowingly attend an organized animal fight and would impose additional penalties for bringing children to animal fights. Violators would face up to one year in prison for attending a fight, and up to three years in prison for bringing or causing a minor to attend.

While organized animal fighting is a federal crime and is illegal in all 50 states, the issue of spectators at these events has not been fully addressed on the federal level—and laws against spectatorship vary from state to state.

“This measure would help law enforcement by allowing them to pursue and punish the spectators who drive the market for animal fighting,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “Furthermore, children need protection from the spectacle of animal fighting, as well as its dangerous and illegal associated activities, including drugs, weapons and gambling.”

In order for the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act to become law, the U.S. House must add the same language it its version of the Farm Bill, which is still being crafted. The Farm Bill is expected to be finalized by the end of summer.

For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to tackle animal fighting, please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.

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This is a great idea. More people would write if they had easy access to the contact information for their congress people. I looked up all of my Federal and State representives once, plus certain State detp. heads and it took a long time to get all the info together.

Judith Guertin

I think providing the names of the congressperson's who will be voting on this bill would go a long way in helping people express their feelings on this issue. This will surely help it pass!

Tammy Gossard

Make it a federal offense attending and will fully organizing a animal fighting event and ALSO the spectators.


Thank God!, it was long overdue!

judy johnston

ie them so longm so happy why did it take them so long thank god


A great move to protect these poor animals and stop this terrible act/practice. The use of arrest and imprisonment will cut off attendance and therefore betting;and places will shut down/not open. "Cut off the food and the body dies!"

Mrs. Betty Racc...

Finally,a bill that would make it a federal offense to attend an animal fight. This is a big step in attempting to stop organized animal fighting. This is a cruel and useless sport. Animals are hurt and killed in this sport (which really is not a sport at all). Children learn from what they are exposed to. Adding addition penalities for bringing children to these events is a necessary addition to this bill. A bill that is LONG OVERDO! Thanks for protecting our animals.

Suzanne Rice

YES! Very well done! Amen!


When courts start making examples of out ppl,only then will they think twice about their actions.Its time that these ppl get punished for these horrible actions of violence towards these animals.Wether its cockfighting,dogfighting,etc.... the punishments should be severe.

Cynthia Varakian

You want to see a fight....put me in a room with these heartless victimizers for 5 minutes