Proposed Bill Would Toughen Dogfighting Laws

Legislation would ban dogfighting paraphernalia and make it illegal to mail such items.

In a move to strengthen dogfighting prohibitions, Congressmen Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) and co-sponsor Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced the Federal Dog Protection Act last month that would broaden the scope of current and pending legislation.

The proposed bill is similar to the pending Dog Fighting Prohibition Act that would make dogfighting ventures punishable by up to five years in prison, but adds further restrictions that include banning anything associated to dogfighting, such as training tools, videos and magazines. Furthermore, it would make it illegal to use to United States Postal Service – or any form of interstate commerce – to promote dogfighting.

Additionally, the bill would allow rescue groups that care for animals seized by federal agents to file civil suits to recoup their expenses.

“The Michael Vick case has demonstrated that these networks are extensive and fueled by money,” Blumenauer states. “Our new legislation takes important steps to crack down on any and all incentives to promote these sordid and violent dogfighting rings.”

The bill currently has 58 additional co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on the Judiciary for consideration.

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