Sen. John Kerry today announced that he is introduced legislation to finally eliminate dogfighting, which has been targeted by federal and state laws but by all accounts is more popular than ever. The ban would address all participants in the ugly sport – spectators, people who train and sell the dogs, people who buy them and people who transport them to attend fights. The bill expands the scope of federal legislation and removes the existing requirement that requires prosecutors to prove that dogs crossed state lines to fight. The legislation comes after Kerry spoke with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week to express his strong support for the suspension of Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick, who has been indicted on dogfighting charges. Sen. Barbara Boxer is co-sponsoring the bill with Kerry.Specifically, Kerry’s bill would amend the Animal Welfare Act in four ways to upgrade existing federal dog fighting laws by removing the existing requirement for prosecutors and agents to prove that one of the dogs crossed state lines to attend the fight, enhancing the penalty for dogfighting from a maximum three-year prison sentence to a five-year prison sentence, making it a federal offense to be a spectator at a dogfight, and also by making it a crime to buy, sell, transport, train or possess fighting dogs to eliminate the lucrative commercial incentives for dogfighting.
It's a strong proposal and I hope it passes. Please write your Senators and encourage them to become co-sponsors of the bill.