A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Jul 19, 2011

Michael Vick to Testify Before Congress and Denounce Dog-Fighting

Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, and luckiest felon in America, was convicted of state and federal laws related to dog fighting. Upon his release from prison, while still on probation and playing football, Vick has been declaring himself rehabilitated, decrying dog fighting and touting the importance of being kind to animals. To that end, Vick is appearing on Capitol Hill to voice his support for H.R. 2492, a bill that would "prohibit knowing attendance at organized animal fights" and penalize those who cause minors to attend as well.

dog fight victim-Google images
Animal fighting is a gruesome blood sport where typically dogs or cocks are trained to fight each other to the death. It is also financially lucrative as admission fees, gambling winnings, breeding fees and sales of game and training paraphernalia are a big business. There is a huge amount of collateral animal abuse ancillary to the training and treatment of the animals leading up to and including the actual fights. Youngsters are frequently present at fights if not actually staging them.

Dog-fighting and cockfighting are crimes in virtually every state in the country as are animal cruelty, endangering the welfare of a child, and gambling. Some states (like New York and California) also make it a crime to be a knowing spectator at such an event. There is also a federal prohibition against animal fighting as well under the Animal Welfare Act which does not cover spectators. Spectators are considered accomplices and enablers in and of the illegal activity as an audience is necessary for the fights to be profitable.

Vick is appearing with representatives from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an organization neither related to nor an umbrella entity for any other humane society, to espouse his new disapproval of the "sport" and to urge passage of the bill. The unholy symbiotic alliance between Vick and HSUS, has generated controversy in and of itself as to the optics, and motives of such a partnership, and one would hope that it would not detract from the importance of passing H.R. 2492.

Article first published as Michael Vick to Testify Before Congress and Denounce Dog-Fighting on Technorati.

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