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The Humane Society of the United States expresses its thanks to U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern for sponsoring a successful amendment to the Farm Bill to crack down on illegal dogfighting and cockfighting. The McGovern amendment to the Farm Bill will make it a federal crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight. The House Agriculture Committee passed the amendment by a vote of 26 to 19, and we congratulate Congressman McGovern for his leadership on this issue and so many other humane issues.
Forty-nine states, including Massachusetts, already have penalties for animal fighting spectators. But there is a loophole in the federal animal fighting law that does not yet address this problem. Spectators are willing accomplices who finance animal fighting operations through their admission fees and gambling wagers, and provide cover to animal fighters who blend into the crowd during a law enforcement raid. We need to give federal and state law enforcement agencies the tools they need to crack down on the entire cast of characters involved in animal fighting.
Animal welfare supporters are grateful to Congressman McGovern for fighting against animal cruelty and standing up for the values of decency and humane treatment of animals.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States