ASPCA Applauds Strong Animal Protections in the Farm Bill

President Obama signs bill into law; Strengthens federal animal fighting laws
February 7, 2014

WASHINGTON —The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today applauds the U.S. Congress for passing a provision in the Farm Bill to crack down on animal fighting, and thanks President Barack Obama for signing this measure into law. This provision will strengthen federal animal fighting laws by making attending an animal fight a federal offense as well as imposing penalties for bringing a child to an animal fight.

ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker said, “These changes send a clear message:  animal fighting is so vile, so unconscionable, that accountability shouldn’t end with those participating directly. Anyone attending an animal fight is a participant, and any participation is wrong -- especially when you endanger the welfare of a child by bringing them into this dark underworld of illegal activity.

“History shows us time and time again that where there’s money to be made, defenseless animals often pay the highest price. But today, thanks to our collective efforts, President Obama and Congress took a stand for them, and for children.”

This version of the bill also excludes the dangerous King Amendment, which would have had potentially devastating impacts for state animal protection laws across the country. Introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), the amendment would have gutted state animal cruelty laws across the country and prevented states from passing their own laws regarding the production of “agricultural products”—a term so sweeping it could have included farm animals, dogs in puppy mills, and many other industries involving animals.

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