Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Letter to Senate Farm Bill Conferee - Include Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Language in 2013 Farm Bill

In a letter to the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), joined by 16 other senators, today urged Senate Members of the 2013 Farm Bill Conference Committee to include language from the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act (S.666) in the 2013 Farm Bill. The Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, originally sponsored by Blumenthal, would make it a criminal offense to attend an animal fight or bring a child to such an event. This piece of legislation has received wide bipartisan support, having passed twice in the Senate during the 112th Congress. Text of the letter is attached and below:

Dear Senate Conferees,

As you proceed to a House-Senate conference committee on the 2013 Farm Bill, to resolve differences between S.954 and H.R.2642, we write to call your attention to important animal fighting spectator prohibition provisions included in both bills.

The multi-state raid announced on August 26, 2013 in which the United States Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation rescued 367 dogs clearly demonstrates the need for stronger prohibitions on activities related to animal fighting. Federal and local officials also seized firearms, drugs, and more than $500,000 in cash from dog fighting gambling activities that took place over the course of the investigation.

When active animal fighting operations are raided, it is a common practice for the organizers, promoters, and animal owners to blend into the crowd in order to shield themselves from law enforcement. Though many states have enacted legislation to make attendance at an animal fight a criminal offense, local and state law enforcement still need a federal statute to appropriately prosecute these individuals and help end these criminal operations for good.

S.954 includes the language of the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, a bipartisan bill that the Senate approved twice in the 112th Congress. This bill currently has 24 cosponsors in the Senate and 205 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. The legislation also enjoys broad support from animal welfare groups and approximately 300 law enforcement organizations.

We urge you to ensure that the bipartisan language of the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, contained in Section 12209 of S.954, is adopted by the conference committee. This language would apply federal criminal penalties to any individual who knowingly attends or knowingly brings a minor to one of these horrific events. Since H.R.2642 already contains language to establish even stronger federal penalties for animal fighting spectators, the language in S.954 is a reasonable compromise and should be adopted.

Thank you for considering this request. We look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senate

Mark Kirk
United States Senate

Maria Cantwell
United States Senate

David Vitter
United States Senate

Mary L. Landrieu
United States Senate

Susan Collins
United States Senate

Tom Carper
United States Senate

Robert Menendez
United States Senate

Bernard Sanders
United States Senate

Mark Warner
United States Senate

Jeff Merkley
United States Senate

Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senate

Chris Coons
United States Senate

Kelly Ayotte
United States Senate

Martin Heinrich
United States Senate

Edward J. Markey
United States Senate

Benjamin L. Cardin
United States Senate


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top