People who attend animal fights fund this cruel bloodsport with their entrance fees and gambling wagers. Currently dog fighting is a federal offense (US Code: Title 7,2156) but organizers are hard to catch because when police arrive they act as spectators; which under the current law is not an offense. H.R. 2492 the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act of 2011 will change that. The act will make it a federal crime, punishable by up to one year in prison, to knowingly attend an animal fight and impose up to a three year sentence for bringing a minor to a fight.
The Humane Society of the United States endorses H.R. 2492 as a necessary step to prevent harm to animals forced to participate in animal fighting rings. H.R. 2492 closes a gap in existing animal fighting regulations by making it a crime to knowingly attend, or cause a minor to attend, an animal fighting venture. Spectators are crucial to animal fighting and generate the bulk of revenue for this illegal enterprise. By discouraging spectators, this illegal activity will be less profitable and it will be easier for law enforcement to identify participants in animal fights.