Taking on Animal Fighting in Every Corner of the United States
The staged fighting of animals is the most widely criminalized form of animal cruelty, with the first prohibitions imposed by the states in the first half of the 19th century. Yet it remains as one of the biggest underground enterprises that causes extreme harm to animals — with literally tens of thousands of backyard cockfighting operations in the United States and pit bull fighting unnervingly common in both urban and rural communities.
In 2018, AWA worked to see animal fighting banned everywhere, including in the U.S. territories. The Congress delayed its effective date for one year, with the provision going into force in December 2019. Despite the phase-in period, political leaders in these jurisdictions continue to undercut the law and, in some cases, to encourage open defiance.
The federal courts have affirmed the authority of the United States to prohibit this conduct in the territories and in all other parts of the country. AWA is encouraging the Department of Justice, USDA, and the U.S. Postal Service to enforce the law.
To read more about what AWA is doing to help enforce the new federal law, go to our campaign website, www.endcockfighting.org. There you can find the Section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act, a summary of court proceedings on the issue, and a trove of other information about our campaign.
In 2018, AWA worked to see animal fighting banned everywhere, including in the U.S. territories.