Schaumburg, Ill. - 3/17/08 - The passing of two state bills in recent weeks has made dog fighting a felony in all 50 states.
"For many years, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) has recommended that animal fighting be considered a felony offense in this country, giving it the legal classification and punishment that a blood sport of this sort deserves," says Adrian Hochstadt, assistant director of AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. "The AVMA condemns any and all events involving animals in which injury or death is intended, and we encourage veterinarians to collaborate with law enforcement with respect to recognition, enforcement and education about dog fighting. Together, we can help break down the criminal networks that perpetrate these violent crimes against animals."
Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal signed the felony legislation for dog fighting early this month; Idaho passed a similar bill in late February making the felony status universal across the nation, says AVMA.