Update July, 2008: The Farm Bill initially passed by Congress included this anti-animal fighting bill.
President George W. Bush vetoed the bill, but both the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to override the veto.
This new law, now the Farm Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, means there is now effectively a federal ban on any animal fight that is "in or affecting" interstate commerce. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, buy, possess, train, transport, deliver, or receive any animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an animal fighting venture. 7 U.S.C. Sec. 2156.
These crimes are felonies that can mean up to 5 years in prison per violation.
. Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) sponsored the bill in the senate, and Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) was the House of Representatives sponsor.
This anti-animal fighting measure goes further than the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act signed into law this past spring. That law created felony penalties including up to 3 years in prison for any interstate or foreign sale, purchase, transfer, delivery or receipt of animals for fighting purposes. Under that law it is illegal to sponsor or exhibit animals moved in interstate or foreign commerce in fighting ventures and to use the mails to promote such events.