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Department of Justice stands strong in ensuring that federal law against animal fighting applies equally to all parts of the U.S., including the territories

WASHINGTON (October 8, 2019)—In a consolidated case before a federal judge, the U.S. Department of Justice this week filed a brief defending Congress’ constitutional authority to strengthen federal animal fighting law as it did in the 2018 Farm Bill.

“We commend the Department of Justice for its strong defense of a law Congress passed last year with overwhelming bipartisan support to ensure that federal law against animal fighting applies equally to all parts of the U.S., including the territories,” said Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund, “ It’s high time to end this archaic and terribly cruel practice, and polling shows that a strong majority of people in Puerto Rico agree. This law will also protect communities from other criminal activity often linked to animal fighting and reduce public health threats from the transmission of diseases such as bird flu.”

“Animal fighting is cruel, no matter where in the world it occurs,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, “By defending the statute that clarified the application of the federal cockfighting ban in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, the Department of Justice has demonstrated that this inexcusable and intentional cruelty will not be tolerated anywhere under our law.”

Media contact:
Emily Ehrhorn: 202-779-1814;


The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at

Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, A Humane World. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on Twitter. Read the award-winning All Animals magazine. Listen to the Humane Voices Podcast.