Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 23, 2018 


The Mueller probe lands another cooperating witness. Also on the rundown: The GAO gives a green light for CHIP cuts; and hurricane experts say – don’t let down guard down.

Daily Newscasts

Farm Bill Would "Fortify" CT Animal-Fighting Laws

PHOTO: The Humane Society of the United States is trying to build support for legislation to make it a crime to attend an animal fight. Photo credit: HSUS
PHOTO: The Humane Society of the United States is trying to build support for legislation to make it a crime to attend an animal fight. Photo credit: HSUS
August 5, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. - No spectators, no fighting. That's the message from animal-welfare groups trying to make it a federal crime, punishable by jail, for being a spectator at an animal fight. Both the U.S. House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill, under negotiation now, include prohibitions against attending animal fights.

According to John Goodwin, director of animal-cruelty policy for the Humane Society of the United States, spectators are not innocent bystanders, and federal law enforcement should be able to go after them. He remarked that Connecticut has the dubious distinction of once hosting a fight involving finches, small songbirds.

"I've only seen that in Connecticut and in Brazil, so it was odd that that particular form of animal fighting was starting to get a little bit of a foothold in Connecticut."

Dog-fighting, in any case, is a felony in Connecticut, and so is being a spectator at such a contest.

Goodwin said the Nutmeg State is out in front on this issue.

"Senator (Richard) Blumenthal is the primary leader of the Senate version of the animal fighting bill," Goodwin said. "Senator Blumenthal from Connecticut has been a champion for Humane Society issues during his time in the Senate."

According to Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, the spectator prohibition act would fortify the law in Connecticut, and hopefully eliminate incentives for dog-fighting and cockfighting across the nation.

It is meant "to crack down on the people who are bringing children to dog fights and cockfights, and for people who are just there to watch and to gamble on the outcome," Pacelle said.

The House and Senate have each passed their own versions of the farm bill. Conferees will now try to work out the differences.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - CT