A press release from Congressman Peter Roskam:
Roskam animal fighting amendment included in Farm Bill, signed into law
Washington, D.C. – This week, the President signed H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 – also known as the Farm Bill – into law.
The legislation reauthorizes agriculture and nutrition programs through 2023 and provides funding for rural areas to combat the opioid crisis using telehealth technology.
Also included in H.R. 2 is a bipartisan amendment led by Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) that prohibits animal fighting both in the United States and throughout the territories.
“The inclusion of this amendment in the final bill reflects the United States’ commitment to ending the revolting practice of animal fighting across the nation and the territories,” said Rep. Roskam.
“I applaud my colleagues in Congress for ensuring that the loophole that has prevented the federal prohibition of cockfighting and allowed this despicable practice to continue is finally closed.”
“During consideration of the Farm Bill, Representative Roskam showed unwavering commitment to principle as evidenced by his stalwart leadership to crack down on animal fighting in all U.S. jurisdictions.
“We are grateful for his work with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway and Republican leadership to ensure this important issue received fair consideration, and his floor amendment won by a resounding vote of 359-51.” Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund said.
“This provision will ensure that current federal prohibitions on animal fighting activity are consistently applied in all U.S. jurisdictions including the U.S. territories, where cockfighting is often still openly displayed, and thereby protect animals from vicious cruelty, protect communities from other criminal activity often linked to animal fighting, and reduce threats to public health and the food supply from the transmission of bird flu and other diseases.”
The PACE Act was introduced by Reps Roskam (R-IL), Blumenauer (D-OR), R. Davis (R-IL), Nolan (D-MN), Buchanan (R-FL), Sherman (D-CA), Yoder (R-KS), Cardenas (D-CA) and Knight (R-CA) and is supported by the Humane Society of the United States.
Following and outbreak of Newcastle disease in 2002, American taxpayers had to pay nearly $200 million dollars to help the cause as the USDA named cockfighting as the cause of its spread.
These animals used in fighting are often drugged to heighten their aggression resulting in broken bones, severe trauma and piercing wounds.
The House-Senate Conference Report to accompany H.R. 2 passed the House with strong bipartisan support on December 12, 2018 – Representative Roskam voted in favor of the report.