August 27, 2008 · Updated 8:12 PM
The Humane Society of the United States wishes to thank and congratulate U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell for passing a bill to strengthen the nations laws against dog fighting and cockfighting. Cantwells bill, the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. The U.S. House of Representatives had previously cleared its version by a landslide vote of 368-39, and it is now on the Presidents desk.
This anti-crime legislation will provide felony-level penalties for interstate and foreign animal fighting activities and outlaw commerce in cockfighting weapons. Animal fighting not only fosters unspeakable cruelty to animals, but also spawns other criminal activity, such as narcotics traffic, illegal gambling, public corruption and violence toward people.
When animal fighters can earn tens of thousands of dollars wagering on a single fight, a slap on the wrist is considered just a cost of doing business. Stronger penalties are needed to stop this organized network of criminal activity, and thats why the National Sheriffs Association and 400 law enforcement agencies from across the country joined The Humane Society of the United States in backing this bill.
Thanks to Senator Cantwell for working to give animal fighting the knock-out punch.
Michael Markarian, Executive Vice President
The Humane Society of the United States