AVMA Supports Animal Fighting Amendment to the Farm Bill

By: Dr. Whitney Miller, assistant director, Governmental Relations Division

While a flurry of activities on the Farm Bill has had agricultural interest groups’ attention for the past few weeks, AVMA has been working diligently on ensuring that some priorities for animal health and welfare are addressed.

One important provision that AVMA wants to see pass in the Farm Bill this year will prohibit spectators from attending animal fighting venues. The language is similar to the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act (H.R. 366/S. 666), which AVMA actively supported in the 112th Congress. The current bill would amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit people from knowingly attending animal fights or causing minors to attend animal fights. It would also impose stronger criminal and civil penalties on violators.

Animal fighting has severe consequences for the animals involved, often with serious injuries and/or death as a result. Though most states have recently adopted stricter laws that address animal fighting, enforcement has been a challenge, proving the need for a combined federal and state effort to be most effective. By targeting not only those who participate in the events, but also those who frequent them, the bill will help to put animal fighting organizers out of business.

The Senate version of the Farm Bill included the animal fighting provision when it was introduced in Congress, but the House version of the bill did not. During the House Committee on Agriculture’s consideration of the bill, U.S. Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.) introduced an amendment that was accepted by the committee. AVMA sent a letter to the committee members prior to their mark-up of the Farm Bill, encouraging them to support the amendment.

3 thoughts on “AVMA Supports Animal Fighting Amendment to the Farm Bill

  1. think about it this dosent just efect cock fighters but hunters & fisherman to under the new law you cant hunt rabbits or coons or harvest any animal with a dog and you cannot fish with live bate it’s a shame

  2. I think that this country has got their priority extremely mixed up. Since when does our constitution protect the right of animals over the god given rights afforded us by god and our forefathers. Do not get me wrong I love my pets but I also love my culture and heritage. We are not cruel to our Gamecocks they get the best feeds, the best accommodation, and best medical treatment. I believe that they should be able to fulfill their life’s duty. It is what nature wants them to do, they are wild animals and are dictated by nature and not by humans. I feel sorry for ignorant people such as your selves who are against something that you do not even understand. I also feel sorry for the family that you are willing to destroy for a chicken, I’m sorry but that makes you guys criminals in my book. I think it is time that we stand up for all the animals that humans have made domesticated and have laws made against them for stealing the rights away from these animals. Then how would you feel if someone came and took your horse away and charged you with a felony land destroyed your family think about that one

  3. I understand the House is not allowing any animal welfare amendments to be voted on during the discussions. Why is this considering the King Amendment is anti animal welfare ??