One of the dozens of amendments to the Farm Bill passed with bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate will make attending an animal fight a federal crime.
U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and David Vitter of Louisiana, hailed the passage of the amendment in a press release Tuesday.
The Farm Bill amendment passed 88-11 last week. The amendment calls for a federal prison sentence or fine to spectators knowingly attending an animal fight. Penalties will be stronger for those spectators who bring minors to the event.
Because the sport stretches across state lines, the federal government needs to step in, Blumenthal said. He promised to fight to ensure that the legislation becomes law. According to Politico the bipartisan support in the Senate “adds to the pressure on the Republican-controlled House to act this summer.”
The bill, consistent with state animal fighting laws, would deny event organizers the revenue that funds future events, a spokesperson for Kirk said.
The lucrative sport is financed by those willing to pay an admission fee and place bets.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, called spectators “participants and accomplices” in harming animal participants.