Urge Vote on Animal Fighting Act Before 109th Congress Ends
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Urge Vote on Animal Fighting Act Before 109th Congress Ends

Article and sample letter from Kinship Circle  

Please let your representatives and members of the subcommittee listed below know you strongly support stiffer penalties for those participating in illegal animal fighting "sports."

Time is running out! Urge your U.S. Representative to bring the Animal
Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act up for a vote now -

Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act May Go To House Floor For A Vote This Week - http://network.bestfriends.org/animallawcoalition/news/7938.html 

To identify your Rep in the House and find contact info, try:
USA House of Representatives
HSUS - Find your elected officials
Project Vote Smart
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Contact committee members:
Howard Coble (R-NC), Chairman: 202-225-3065, 202-225-8611
Dan Lungren (R-CA): 202-225-5716, 202-226-1298
Mark Green (R-WI): 202-225-5665, 202-225-5729
Tom Feeney (R-FL): 202-225-2706, 202-226-6299
Steve Chabot (R-OH): 202-225-2216, 202-225-3012
Ric Keller (R-FL): 202-225-2176, 202-225-0999
Jeff Flake (R-AZ): 202-225-2635, 202-226-4386
Mike Pence (R-IN): 202-225-3021, 202-225-3382
J. Randy Forbes (R-VA): 202-225-6365, 202-226-1170
Louie Gohmert (R-TX): 202-225-3035, 202-226-1230
Robert C. Scott (D-VA), Ranking Member: 202-225-8351,
Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX): 202-225-3816, 202-225-3317
Maxine Waters (D-CA): 202-225-2201, 202-225-7854
Martin T. Meehan (D-MA): 202-225-3411, 202-226-0771
William D. Delahunt (D-MA): 202-225-3111, 202-225-5658
Anthony Weiner (D-NY): 202-225-6616, 202-226-7253

Feel free to use portions of our letter, but please add some original
thoughts. Hundreds of identical letters may lessen the impact.

The Honorable Representative _____________________________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Representative and Members of the House Judiciary Committee:

Please move the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act (H.R. 817) out of committee to the floor for a vote before the 109th Congress concludes. With 324 House co-sponsors and passage of a comparable bill in the Senate, most officials advocate harsher penalties for illegal animal fighters.

Despite unanimous consent for the Senate's Animal Fighting Prohibition
Enforcement Act of 2005 -- the House version has lost momentum, with no
significant action since April 29, 2005. I fully support any proposal to
bypass the Judiciary Committee by suspension and urge officials to vote YES on H.R. 817 if it comes to the House floor.

Present law specifies misdemeanor punishments that are far too lenient to
dissuade animal fighters. H.R. 817, introduced by Rep. Mark Green (R-WI),
establishes felony penalties for: (1) selling, buying, transporting, delivering or receiving dogs and other animals in interstate or foreign commerce for fights; (2) sponsoring or exhibiting in fights animals who were moved interstate or through foreign commerce; (3) use of the mails to promote an animal fight in the U.S.; and (4) selling, buying, transporting, or delivering in interstate or foreign commerce "a knife, a gaff, or any other sharp instrument attached, or designed or intended to be attached, to the leg of a bird for use in an animal fighting venture."

Your constituents care about public safety and animal welfare. We represent
a larger majority than the marginal animal-fighting lobby.

At dogfight compounds, dogs trained to rip each other to pieces bear frontal
scars on their heads, ears, shoulders and legs. Authorities commonly find
waste-soaked cages and anabolic steroids, along with the restraining tables,
bloody treadmills and wooden ramps used for endurance drills. Worn down dogs are often left to fend for themselves on the streets, where they either die or jeopardize public health.

Cockfighting is a similar lesson in animal cruelty. To intensify aggression,
cockfighters dose roosters with stimulants, steroids, and blood-clotting drugs. They arm birds with razor-sharp gaffs to extend their feet up to 3
inches. In the ring, birds shred each other's lungs, livers, wings and legs.
They gouge out eyes and detach spinal cords. Cockfighters claim to pamper
prized birds, but investigators have found mutilated winners and losers
tossed alive in trash heaps.

Hog-Dog Rodeos, billed as "family events," unleash fight-trained dogs upon
penned pigs to viciously gnaw off their ears, tails or snouts. Dogs who maul
pigs the fastest earn prize money and trophies.

In addition to animal abuse, the cockfighting industry threatens legitimate
agriculture with its role in Exotic Newcastle Disease (END), a highly
transmutable avian disease spread via interstate transport of fighting
birds. END outbreaks have traveled from Mexico to Los Angeles and into

Movement in game fowl is also linked with the deadly Avian Influenza (AI)
that began in Southeast Asia. Veterinary experts with U.S. poultry companies view smuggled gamecock as the "hot button" to ignite a bird flu epidemic here. To combat END and AI, state and federal officials have exhausted hundreds of millions of dollars on containment and compensation.

Animal fighting networks are also associated with drug trafficking,
prostitution, gambling and firearms sales. Please protect people, industry,
and animals with tougher federal penalties now.

Thank you,

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