End Cockfighting Press Release

Woman Charged with Cruelty, Animal Fighting in Lancaster County Tied to Maryland Staged Animal Fighting Ring

Animal fighting is barbaric and is commingled with other crimes in Lancaster County and elsewhere

Lancaster County, PA — Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy reacted to Lancaster County authorities charging a woman with animal cruelty and animal fighting charges after discovering dozens of roosters housed in wooden coops with their combs and wattles removed on her farm. Investigators believe this individual is tied to a cockfighting ring in Havre De Grace, Md. The birds were also described as neglected and kept in unsanitary conditions without food or water.

Cockfighting and associated activities are a felony in Pennsylvania and also a felony under federal law.

“We applaud investigators in Lancaster County for pursuing information that tied this individual to staged animal fighting,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action, which is leading a national campaign to eradicate the practice. “Cockfighting is a barbaric and sickening spectator sport, where people attach knives to the animals’ legs and thrill in the bloodletting. Pennsylvania must have a zero-tolerance policy for staged animal fights.”

Related, the federal FIGHT Act H.R. 2742/S. 1529, is written to strengthen the federal law against animal fighting, complementing Pennsylvania’s strong state law against the practice.

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1, was an original cosponsor of the FIGHT Act.  Reps. Madeleine Dean, D-4; Chris DeLuzio, D-17; Chrissy Houlihan, D-6; Summer Lee, D-12; Daniel Meuser, R-9; and Guy Reschenthaler, R-14., are also cosponsors from Pennsylvania U.S. Sens. John Fetterman and Bob Casey, both Democrats, have also cosponsored the companion legislation, S. 1529. The FIGHT Act is supported by more than 45 Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies.  Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-11-Lancaster County, is not a cosponsor of the FIGHT Act, nor is Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-15.

The legislation, which has the backing of more than 550 endorsing agencies, would strengthen existing federal law against dogfighting and cockfighting by allowing a private right of action against dogfighting and cockfighting, banning on-line gambling on animal fights, allowing for criminal forfeiture of equipment and properties used in the commission of these crimes, and enhancing prohibitions on shipping fighting roosters through the U.S. mail. Animal Wellness Action has discovered that cockfighters annually send tens of thousands of live roosters for cockfights in boxes through the U.S. mail.

In Pennsylvania, the endorsement list includes:

Animal Welfare Organizations:

Animal Advocates of South Central Pennsylvania, Bucks County Audubon Society, Forever Home Beagle Rescue (Pittsburgh), Good Old Tails Senior Animal Rescue (Hanover), Harmony Dog Rescue (Zelienople), Hello Bully (Pittsburgh), Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary (Sewickley), Humane Action Pennsylvania, Humane Action Pittsburgh, Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh, Indiana County Humane Society, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary (Dalton), Indraloka Sanctuary Children’s Programs (Dalton), Kindred Spirits Rescue Ranch (Darlington), Lancaster Farm Sanctuary, Misfits Coven Animal Haven (Prosperity), Montgomery County SPCA (Conshohocken), Pittsburgh Squealers (Tarentum), Pittsburgh Vegan Society, Revolution Philadelphia, Vegan Pittsburgh, Woody’s Place Senior German Shepherd Sanctuary (Greentown)

Law Enforcement:

Adams County District Attorney’s Office, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Beaver County District Attorney’s Office, Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, Berks County Sheriff’s Office, Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, Butler County District Attorney’s Office, Cambria County Sheriff’s Office, Centre County District Attorney’s Office, Centre County Sheriff’s Office, Chester County District Attorney’s Office, Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office, Clinton County District Attorney’s Office, Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office, Dauphin County Sheriff’s Office, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, Elk County District Attorney’s Office, Elk County Sheriff’s Office, Erie County District Attorney’s Office, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Forest County Sheriff’s Office, Huntingdon County District Attorney’s Office, Huntingdon County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana County Sheriff’s Office, Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office, Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office, McKean County District Attorney’s Office, McKean County Sheriff’s Office, Mifflin County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Montour County District Attorney’s Office, Northampton County District Attorney’s Office, Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Potter County Sheriff’s Office, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Susquehanna County Sheriff’s Office, Tioga County Sheriff’s Office, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, West Whiteland Township Police Department, York County Sheriff’s Office

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News

Center for a Humane Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help animals by helping forge a more humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @TheHumaneCenter