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Support new rules against dogfighting

By in Press Enterprise on November 11, 2017

By The Editorial Board

In Wes Anderson’s extraordinary movie “The Royal Tenenbaums,” the eccentric grandfather played by Gene Hackman tells his worried son, who sees a drop of blood on his own son’s face after an outing: “Oh, don’t worry — it’s just dog’s blood.”

Granddad has been trying to enliven his sheltered grandsons’ lives by taking them on various risque adventures in New York City. And it’s true — there was a time in American lives when such supposedly macho pursuits as betting on cockfights and dogfights was considered merely good sport.

That time is thankfully well in the past. Now, both inhumane practices are not only frowned upon by people of goodwill; they are against federal law. Which is not to say that they are not still happening. Remember in 2007, when former NFL quarterback Michael Vick was arrested for his involvement in a rural Virginia dogfighting ring? Vick and three others were associated with his Bad Newz Kennels were convicted of federal conspiracy charges and imprisoned, with Vick serving 22 months. Vick was suspended by the NFL, was ordered to pay the Atlanta Falcons back a portion of his earnings and lost endorsement deals worth millions more, later filing for bankruptcy. He had it coming.

While the Humane Society of the United States is heartened by the fact that such animal cruelty is both out of fashion and illegal, it is working to close a loophole in the law that exempts federal territories including Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands from the restrictions. Early this month, a bipartisan group of House members, including Tony Cárdenas, D-Pacoima, Steve Knight, R-Santa Clarita and Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks introduced the Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement (PACE) Act, H.R. 4202, clarifying that the federal prohibitions against animal fighting apply everywhere, including U.S. territories. Congress has […]    

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