Washington, D.C. – On July 13th, Animal Wellness Action (AWA) and Animal Wellness Foundation (AWF) applauded the U.S. Subcommittee on Home Remedies for Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS), under the chairmanship of Chairman Jose Serrano, D-N.Y. and ranking member Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., for urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to step up its work on prosecuting crimes against cruelty to animals, including animal fighting, in its 2021 spending law. The committee included the language that instructs the DOJ to make enforcement of violations of federal animal welfare laws a priority, and strongly encouraged the DOJ to establish a separate section for enforcing those laws. Representative Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Joe Neguse, D-Colo. And Mark Pocan, D-Wis. were particularly active in this matter and, together with 50 other members of the House who requested the language, campaigned for the action to be taken.
The committee's report points out that Congress has passed federal anti-cruelty laws, including a law against all animal fights, and that "the DOJ will make investigating and prosecuting animal rights violations a priority, and it is strongly recommended to create a special law section within the Environment and Natural Resources Department to enforce such laws. "
AWA and AWF, as well as their National Law Enforcement Council, urge the Senate to include the language of the law in its version of the CJS Expenditures Act and to instruct the DOJ to set up a cruelty-to-animals department to help committed personnel crack down on malicious cruelty .
"Enforcing laws against cruelty to animals is just as important as adopting them for the first time." said Holly Gann, director of federal affairs at Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation. "Aggressive enforcement of animal welfare laws is required to stop widespread animal fighting and other forms of cruelty to animals. We commend the subcommittee for recognizing the importance of combating these criminal activities."
While animal fighting is the most widespread and most criminalized form of cruelty to animals, it remains a widespread criminal activity in the United States. Animals are often drugged to increase their aggression and forced to continue fighting even after suffering serious injuries such as broken bones, cuts, lung injuries and pierced eyes. In cockfighting, birds have metal weapons like knives attached to their legs, where they cut each other into pieces and suffer slow, painful deaths. Animals that are used for fighting are at risk even if they are not in a fighting pit. They are usually chained outdoors, exposed to the weather and have no veterinary care or basic human treatment. Those who lose a match are subjected to extreme cruelty, such as electric shock, shock, or even killing. Animal fighting activities are also usually associated with drug trafficking, gang violence and other human violence.
AWA and AWF have conducted a series of investigations in Alabama, Guam, Oklahoma and Tennessee that uncover the illegal transport of tens of thousands of combat birds to distant destinations such as Guam, Mexico and the Philippines.
The measures of the grant committee are in line with other measures of the congress. Last year, Congress instructed the DOJ to make enforcement of federal animal welfare laws a priority in its spending law for fiscal 20. Congress has updated the Federal Animal Fighting Act five times in the past two decades, including the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act. This law included an amendment to clarify that federal animal fighting laws apply to all parts of the United States. including the U.S. territories and came into force late last year.
Federal law makes it a crime to sponsor or exhibit an animal in a combat company. buy, sell, deliver, own, train, or transport an animal for combat purposes; use the US Post to promote fighting; to take a minor to an animal fight; or to be a spectator at an animal fighting spectacle. In addition to the federal law on animal combat, the DOJ is also responsible for the prosecution of a number of other animal welfare laws, including criminal violations of the animal welfare law and the horse protection law.
Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a 501 (c) (4), Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to helping animals by promoting legal standards that prohibit cruelty. We are committed to causes that alleviate the suffering of pets, farm animals and wild animals. We are committed to measures to stop dog and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to combat factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we encourage the introduction of good public policies and work to enforce them. In order to make good laws, we have to choose good legislators, so we remind voters which candidates are interested in our issues and which are not. We believe that it helps all of us to help animals.
The Animal Wellness Foundation (Foundation) is a Los Angeles-based private non-profit organization that aims to help animals by providing veterinary care to every veterinarian, regardless of their economic performance. We organize rescue measures and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving carer. We are for bringing veterinarians to the front of the animal protection movement. Promoting responsible ownership of pets; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent cruelty to animals and alleviate suffering. We believe that it helps all of us to help animals.