The state house votes 199 – 0 to outlaw the possession of animal fighting paraphernalia. HB 164, sponsored by Montgomery County Republican Todd Stephens, gives authorities additional tools to crackdown on dog fighting and cock fighting.
The law defines animal fighting paraphernalia as any device, implement or drug intended to be used for animal fighting or to train an animal for animal fighting. This includes instruments and drugs used in breeding, heightening aggression and increasing blood letting, such as razor sharp knives or gaffs, which are attached to the birds’ legs. The bill means possession of such items a misdemeanor.
- Animal fighting is illegal in every state, and all animal fighting that affects interstate commerce is punishable as a federal felony under the Animal Welfare Act.
- In Pennsylvania, cockfighting and dog fighting are both punishable as felonies on the first offense. It is also a felony to be a spectator at an animal fight or to possess dogs or birds for the purpose of fighting.
- Congress is considering legislation—the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act—to further strengthen the federal animal fighting law by making it a crime to be a spectator at a dogfight or cockfight, with additional penalties for bringing a child to the fight.