Senate votes to increase penalties for attending animal fights

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the bipartisan Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, S. 1947.

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“This bill is about ending animal fighting, which plainly and simply is a blood sport,” Blumenthal said on the floor Tuesday.

Blumenthal said his bill would increase the penalties for knowingly attending an animal fight with a child and makes it a crime to knowingly attend an animal fight, adding that animal fighting is a federal crime that requires a federal response to prevent it.

The increased penalty for violating the Animal Welfare Act would be a fine and/or imprisonment for up to three years.

The bill now heads to the House for further action.

Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) co-sponsored the bill.