In news that's slipped beneath the radar but deserving of praise, it is now illegal to attend a dog fight, cock fight, or any other cruel pitting of beast against beast in the United States. It was of course already against the law to host such "games." Opposing Views reports on one important component of the recently passed federal farm bill:
Last Friday President Obama signed the Farm Bill into law, [which] includes a provision making it a federal crime to attend or bring a child under the age of 16 to any animal fighting event.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) is credited with successfully working to pass this important legislation. It will also now be a federal crime to be a spectator at an animal-fighting event.
"Cantwell's legislation will fortify the federal law and help law enforcement, quash illegal dog fighting and cockfighting, and forbid adults from bringing children to these spectacles of violence," said Mark Makarian of the Humane Society. "The spectator admission fees and gambling dollars finance these criminal operations and make dog fighting and cockfighting profitable."
Cantwell's been honored by the Humane Society before. In 2012 she received the organization's "Legislative Leader" award for her work in helping to protect endangered apes.
"We thank Sen. Cantwell for her outstanding work to ensure that our federal laws reflect the core humane values and attitudes of American society," said Makarian at the time.