Legal Resource

Support Stronger Penalties for Animal Fighting

Help us put an end to animal fighting and create stronger laws for animals so criminals who use animals for fighting receive meaningful sentences.

Although animal fighting is illegal in all 50 states, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is working to make such crimes easier to prosecute and punishable by stronger penalties.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has drafted a recommended amendment to state laws that would enable prosecutors to charge those who organize, conduct, and profit from animal fights under the respective state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization statute. These laws (commonly known as RICO statutes) are designed to be weapons against crimes that are supported by organized criminal efforts. Like drug dealing, sex trafficking, and illegal gambling, animal fighting is just that sort of crime: animal fights happen when networks of people choose to organize criminal activity, in this case brutal spectacles of animal violence. Recognizing this by applying RICO statutes to animal fighting gives prosecutors increased capabilities to seek justice for animals abused and killed in the name of an illegal bloodsport.

Take action by writing to your state legislators today about enacting or enhancing your state’s RICO law. The Animal Legal Defense Fund can provide our model law that was enacted in Virginia and can also provide your legislators with a detailed legislative analysis of your state’s laws to provide customized solutions for your state.

Stop Animal Cruelty

Every day, animals are abused and killed. Their abusers frequently do not face any consequences – it’s still extremely common for animal cruelty to go unpunished. Without you, animals have no voice. Sign the petition.

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