U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly Serving the 24th District of California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2007
Contact: Tom Pfeifer, (202) 225-5811
Gallegly & Blumenauer Introduce Federal Dog Protection Act
WASHINGTON, DC-Congressmen Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer(D-OR) today introduced the Federal Dog Protection Act to further protect animals from human cruelty. The Gallegly/Blumenauer bill would:
a.. Ban animal fighting and anything associated with it, such astraining tools, videos and magazines.
b.. Allow private entities that care for and house animals that have been rescued by federal agents to recoup their expenses.
c.. Would allow private citizens to sue any person alleged to be inviolation of the law.
Previously, Gallegly and Blumenauer worked together to pass the Animal Prohibition Enforcement Act, which was signed into law on May 3. That law makes violations a felony punishable by up to three years in prison, makes it a felonyto transport an animal across state or international borders for the purpose ofanimal fighting, and prohibits the interstate and foreign commerce in knives and gaffs designed for use in cockfighting. "The Michael Vick case has proven that stricter federal laws against animal fighting are necessary," Gallegly said. "If the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act had been in effect when these alleged atrocities occurred, Mr. Vick would be facing three felonies instead of a felony and two misdemeanors."The Federal Dog Protection Act takes this further by outlawing the paraphernalia that goes along with animal fighting and empowering private citizens to fight this scourge."Violators of the Federal Dog Protection Act would face up to a 5-year sentence and a $250,000 fine for each count."Congress made great progress earlier this year by passing the Gallegly-Blumenauer Animal Fighting Protection Act, which the President signed into law in May," Blumenauer said. "Yet we must get at the root of the problem by penalizing spectators and removing all economic incentives for cultivating dog fighting networks."The Michael Vick case has demonstrated that these networks are extensive and fueled by money. Our new legislation takes important steps to crack down on any and all incentives to promote these sordid and violent dog fighting rings,and I am confident that our bill will have broad support."Gallegly noted that criminals who commit violent acts against other humans often started their acts of cruelty against animals. The FBI has recognized the connection since the 1970s and the American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty one of the diagnostic criteria for later violent behavior."Other crimes often go hand-in-hand with animal fighting, including illegal gambling and drug trafficking," Gallegly said."In the last six months, virtually every reported arrest at an animal fight also led to additional arrests for at least one of these criminal activities."
The bill was introduced with 52 original cosponsors.