The U.S. House Agriculture Committee has approved an amendment to the House Farm Bill, also known as the Federal Agricultural Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM)], H.R. 1947, to strengthen laws against animal fighting. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), makes knowingly attending or knowingly causing a child to attend an animal fight a federal offense. The McGovern amendment was approved by the Committee by a bipartisan vote of 28-17.
A similar amendment was approved by the Senate Committee on Agriculture in its version of the Farm bill, known as the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act, S. 954, Sec. 12209. The Senate Committee Chair, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) championed the measure in the Senate.
The House and Senate versions of the FARRM bill now include prohibitions on knowingly attending an animal fight or knowingly bringing a child along. If approved, the provisions would become part of the federal law prohibiting animal fighting, Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. Section 2156.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The House Committee version now goes to the House of Representatives for a vote. Find your U.S. representative here. The Senate version goes to the full Senate for a vote. Find your 2 U.S. senators here.
Call or write (letters or faxes are best) and urge your representative and senators to support the bans on attending animal fights and bringing children to such events where they are exposed to horrific animal cruelty. Animal fighting is also characterized by gambling, illegal drugs, prostitution and violence. It is illegal in every state.