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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Many people take their children to dog fights. I hope this law will include loss of custody for any parent taking children to dog fights. This law should also include cockfighting.

lisa heaton

those that organize animal fights,that blood train animals for fighting are very different - they don't see what we see when looking at an animal - how could they? compassion never enters into it, supply and demand,they will always do what's necessary to make a buck-and there are those that are always buying. if we can remove those that buy, we take profit out of the equation. when we lose profit,i promise we'll lose those that provide the fights. and that my friend is when the
animals really start to win. "in this world they have no voice, they have no choice. i will be their voice."




I am so glad that they are trying to pass this law, Although i do not think one year is enough. It makes me sick to know people fight animals, I don't see how anyone could ever do that or watch it! I have two full blooded pits and a pit mix and they are loving and loyal. It's sad that people want to put pitbulls down and get rid of the breed. Do you think that they wanted to fight?! NO. It's time for people to see that it is NOT the ANIMAL it's the so called 'owner'.