Statement For Press


Kristi Noem Voted Against a Bipartisan House Bill to Crack Down on Dogfighting and Cockfighting

Her vote for animal fighting is one more past indicator of her contempt for animal welfare norms in our society.

Washington, D.C. — Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy, offered further reaction to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s recent revelation that two decades ago she shot and killed a perfectly healthy, 14-month-old adolescent dog her family had named Cricket.

Mr. Pacelle also offered that her handling of animal-welfare as a political concern during her time in Congress was similarly harsh and unforgiving. She was consistent in voting against pro-animal-welfare policies during her four terms in the U.S. House. The lowlight of that record came during her final term when she was one of a small number of lawmakers who voted against efforts to apply U.S. prohibitions against dogfighting and cockfighting to all parts of the United States, specifically the U.S. territories.

During a floor vote in the House on an amendment advanced by Reps Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., during consideration of the Farm bill in May 2018, she voted against the anti-animal fighting amendment. The amendment passed by a vote of 359-51 and it was included in the final Farm bill signed into law by President Trump in December 2018.

(See: Noem opposes amendment to extending federal prohibitions against dogfighting and cockfighting to the U.S. Territories. | 359-51 (204 Rs in favor, 23 against), May 18, 2018. | Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives – Vote Details.)

Here is Mr. Pacelle’s statement:

Governor Noem violated the norms of pet care and animal welfare when she shot a perfectly healthy young dog who needed love, training, and socialization. More recently, she demonstrated a lack of understanding of the social norm of proper care of pets by including a rehash of the dog-killing episode in her forthcoming political memoir.

Her 2018 vote against a bill to crack down on dogfighting and cockfighting in the U.S. territories underscores long-running emotional disconnect on the issue of animal welfare.

While more than 200 of her House Republican colleagues voted to crack down on dogfighting and cockfighting, including House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, she was one of 23 who voted to allow staged animal-fighting to occur in major parts of the United States.

The federal courts have unanimously upheld the 2018 animal-fighting amendment as a constitutional exercise of federal authority.

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