Press Release

Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association Endorses FIGHT Act in Congress to Address Staged Battles Between Animals 

More than 500 agencies and organizations endorse bill to eradicate animal fighting nationwide 

Washington D.C. — Animal Wellness Action is pleased to announce that the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association has joined more than 500 organizations and agencies calling on Congress — with a specific appeal to Minnesota’s U.S. Senators and Representatives — to pass the FIGHT Act to eradicate animal fighting in the United States. 

On April 10, Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director James Stuart sent letters to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and other Minnesota lawmakers urging them to support the FIGHT Act and to address the problem of animal fighting in Minnesota and the rest of the United States. Three of 10 lawmakers representing Minnesota in Congress serve on either the House or Senate agriculture committees, which have jurisdiction over the FIGHT Act.  They are Democrat Sens. Klobuchar and Tina Smith and Republican Rep. Brad Finstad. You may read the letter by clicking here.

“We have seen distressing animal fighting cases in our state, and we look forward to collaborating with our federal partners to interdict these criminal networks when they are uncovered,” Stuart writes in the letter. “The FIGHT Act will enable a step-up in enforcement activity by building in more enforcement tools into the national animal-fighting law.”

“No state in the nation is immune from the plague of dogfighting and cockfighting, and we are delighted to be working with the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association to pass the FIGHT Act in Congress this year,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action. “This form of cruelty is an acute threat to the state’s large poultry industry, which is vulnerable to the spread of bird flu and other avian diseases spread by the illegal movement of fighting birds.”

The Fighting Inhumane Gambling and High-Risk Trafficking (FIGHT) Act would allow for citizen suits against perpetrators, ban online gambling on animal fights, allow for criminal forfeiture of property used to commit animal fighting crimes, and forbid the use of the U.S. mail to ship adult roosters.

The smuggling of cockfighting birds from Mexico was the cause of 10 of 15 outbreaks of virulent Newcastle Disease to hit the United States in recent decades, with just three outbreaks costing taxpayers $1 billion. The FIGHT Act has endorsements from the domains of animal welfare, law enforcement, agriculture, gaming, and conservation. No other animal welfare legislation has as much bipartisan support as H.R. 2742 and S. 1529.

Lawmakers have added strengthening amendments to the national animal fighting law in the last four Farm Bills in 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2018, when Congress extended all prohibitions against animal fighting to the U.S. Territories.

Center for a Humane Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help animals by helping forge a more humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @TheHumaneCenter

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News