S. Rept. 106-297 - 106th Congress (1999-2000)
December 31, 1999, As Reported by the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee

Report text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this legislative text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.




Senate Report 106-297 - ANIMAL WELFARE ACT AMENDMENTS




[Senate Report 106-297]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



                                                       Calendar No. 555
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     106-297

======================================================================



 
                     ANIMAL WELFARE ACT AMENDMENTS

                                _______
                                

Mr. Lugar, from the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 345]

    The Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 345) to amend the Animal 
Welfare Act to remove the limitation that permits interstate 
movement of live birds, for the purpose of fighting, to States 
in which animal fighting is lawful, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
 I. Purpose, need and background......................................1
II. Legislative history and votes in the Committee....................2
III.Regulatory impact statement.......................................2

IV. Budgetary impact of the bill......................................2
 V. Changes in existing law...........................................4

                    I. Purpose, Need and Background

    This legislation will close a loophole in the Animal 
Welfare Act (AWA) that allows for the interstate transport of 
gamecocks for fighting purposes from states where cockfighting 
is illegal to states where cockfighting is legal. This change 
will bring consistency to the law, treating birds as other 
animals are treated by preventing interstate transport for 
fighting purposes, closing a significant loophole in the law.
    This legislative change will also help law officers enforce 
cockfighting bans in the 47 states in which cockfighting has 
been banned. The three states where cockfighting is legal are: 
New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. This bill would not 
prohibit cockfighting in those states where it is currently 
legal.
    This loophole in the AWA undermines the ability of state 
and local law officers to enforce their state bans. 
Cockfighters elude prosecution in states where the practice is 
illegal by claiming that they are raising fighting birds for 
shipment to states where it is still lawful. Thus, the AWA 
loophole compromises the effectiveness of the state laws.
    This bill will not affect the ownership or use of live 
birds for food and for show purposes.

             II. Legislative History and Votes in Committee


                             committee vote

    In compliance with paragraph 7 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the following statements are made 
concerning the votes of the Committee in its consideration of 
the bill:
    The Committee met in open session on Thursday, March 2, 
2000, to mark up this bill. The bill was agreed to by voice 
vote. The Committee then ordered that the bill be favorably 
reported.

                    III. Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the following evaluation is made 
concerning the regulatory impact of enacting this legislation:
    Under current law, the transport of any animal (except live 
birds) for fighting purposes is prohibited between states. This 
legislation bans the interstate movement of live birds for 
fighting purposes. Thus, under this bill, breeders of birds 
would not be allowed to ship their birds across state lines if 
the birds were to be used for fighting. Cockfighting is 
currently legal in only three states. The Congressional Budget 
Office has estimated that the cost to breeders of birds from 
the prohibition on interstate movement would be below the 
annual threshold for private sector mandates. The Committee 
does not anticipate an adverse impact on the personal privacy 
of individuals affected by this legislation or an increase in 
paperwork or recordkeeping requirements.

                    IV. Budgetary Impact of the Bill

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the following letter has been 
received from the Congressional Budget Office regarding the 
budgetary impact of the bill:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, March 27, 2000.
Hon. Richard G. Lugar,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 345, a bill to amend 
the Animal Welfare Act to remove the limitation that permits 
interstate movement of live birds, for the purpose of fighting, 
to states in which animal fighting is lawful.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Dave Hull 
(for federal costs) and Jean Wooster (for the private-sector 
impact).
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

S. 345--A bill to amend the Animal Welfare Act to remove the limitation 
        that permits interstate movement of live birds, for the purpose 
        of fighting, to states in which animal fighting is lawful

    CBO estimates that implementing S. 345 would not result in 
any significant cost to the federal government. Because 
enactment of S. 345 could affect direct spending and receipts, 
pay-as-you-go procedures would apply to the bill, however, CBO 
estimates that any impact on direct spending and receipts would 
not be significant. S. 345 contains no intergovernmental 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    S. 345 would impose a new private-sector mandate as defined 
by UMRA. CBO estimates that the cost to comply with the mandate 
would fall below the annual threshold established under UMRA 
for private-sector mandates ($100 million in 1996, adjusted for 
inflation).
    Under current law, any person is prohibited from 
transporting or delivering a dog or other animal--with the 
exception of live birds--between states to participate in an 
animal fighting venture. S. 345 would amend the Animal Welfare 
Act to remove that exception and ban the interstate movement of 
live birds for the purpose of fighting. Such fighting is legal 
in Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma and the possession of 
gamecocks with the intent to fight is legal in 21 states. S. 
345 would prohibit the gamefowl breeders in those 21 states 
from transporting their birds with the intent to fight to the 
three states where such fighting is legal. The bill would not 
prohibit the gamefowl breeders from exporting their birds with 
the intent to fight or from transporting them for reasons other 
than to fight. According to industry and government sources, 
the net income derived from the legal sales of live birds for 
the purpose of fighting is less than $100 million a year. 
Therefore, the cost to those breeders to comply with the new 
prohibition, measured as lost income, would be below the annual 
threshold for private-sector mandates.
    Because S. 345 would ban the interstate movement of live 
birds for the purpose of fighting, the federal government would 
be able to pursue cases that it otherwise would not be able to 
prosecute. CBO expects that any increase in federal costs for 
law enforcement, court proceedings, or prison operations would 
not be significant, however, because of the small number of 
cases likely to be involved. Any such additional costs would be 
subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
    Because those prosecuted and convicted under S. 345 could 
be subject to criminal fines, the federal government might 
collect additional fines if the bill is enacted. Collections of 
such fines are recorded in the budget as governmental receipts 
(revenues), which are deposited in the Crime Victims Fund and 
spent in subsequent years. CBO expects that any additional 
receipts and direct spending that would result from enacting 
this bill would not be significant.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Dave Hull (for 
federal costs), and Jean Wooster (for the private-sector 
impact). This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       V. Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made in 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows: existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman.

                          ANIMAL WELFARE ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                        sec. 26. (7 u.s.c. 2156)

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly 
sponsor or exhibit an animal in any animal fighting venture to 
which any animal was moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, 
buy, transport, or deliver to another person or receive from 
another person for purposes of transportation, in interstate or 
foreign commerce, any dog or other animal for purposes of 
having the dog or other animal participate in an animal 
fighting venture.
    (c) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly use 
the mail service of the United States Postal Service or any 
interstate instrumentality for purposes of promoting or in any 
other manner furthering an animal fighting venture except as 
performed outside the limits of the State of the United States.
    [(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a), 
(b), or (c) of this section, the activities prohibited by such 
subsections shall be unlawful with respect to fighting ventures 
involving live birds only if the fight is to take at place in a 
State where it would be in violation of the laws thereof.]
    [(e)] (d) Any person who violates subsection (a), (b), or 
(c) shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not 
more than 1 year, or both, for each such violation.
    [(f)] (e) The secretary or any other authorized by him 
shall make such investigations as the Secretary deems necessary 
to determine whether any person has violated or is violating 
any provision of this section, and the Secretary may obtain the 
assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the 
Department of the Treasury, or other law enforcement agencies 
of the United States, and State and local governmental 
agencies, in the conduct of such investigations, under 
cooperative agreements with such agencies. A warrant to search 
for and seize any animal which there is probable cause to 
believe was involved in any violation of this section may be 
issued by any judge of the United States or of a State court of 
record or by a United States magistrate within the district 
wherein the animal sought is located. Any United States marshal 
or any person authorized under this section to conduct 
investigations may apply for and execute any such warrant, and 
any animal seized under such a warrant shall be held by the 
United States marshal or other authorized person pending 
disposition thereof by the court in accordance with this 
paragraph (f). Necessary care including veterinary treatment 
shall be provided while the animals are so held in custody. Any 
animal involved in any violation of this section shall be 
liable to be proceeded against and forfeited to the United 
States at any time on complaint filed in any United States 
district court or other court of the United States for any 
jurisdiction in which the animal is found and upon a judgment 
of forfeiture shall be disposed of by sale for lawful purposes 
or by other humane means, as the court may direct. Costs 
incurred by the United States for care of animals seized and 
forfeited under this section shall be recoverable from the 
owner of the animals if he appears in such forfeiture 
proceeding or in a separate civil action brought in the 
jurisdiction in which the owner is found, resides, or trans-
acts business.
    [(g)] (f) For purposes of this section--
          (1) the term ``animal fighting venture'' means any 
        event which involves a fight between at least two 
        animals and is conducted for purposes of sport, 
        wagering, or entertainment except that the term 
        ``animal fighting venture'' shall not be deemed to 
        include any activity the primary purpose of which 
        involve the use of one or more animals in hunting 
        another animal or animals, such as waterfowl, bird, 
        raccoon, or fox hunting;
          (2) the term ``interstate or foreign commerce'' 
        means--(A) any movement between any place in a State to 
        any place in another State or between places in the 
        same State through another State; or
          (B) any movement from a foreign country into any 
        State;
          (3) the term ``interstate instrumentality'' means 
        telegraph, telephone, radio, or television operating in 
        interstate or foreign commerce;
          (4) the term ``State'' means any State of the United 
        States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of 
        Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the 
        United States;
          (5) the term ``animal'' means any live bird, or any 
        live dog or other mammal, except man; and
          (6) the conduct by any person of any activity 
        prohibited by this section shall not render such person 
        subject to the other sections of this Act as a dealer, 
        exhibitor, otherwise.
    [(h)] (g)(1) The provisions of this Act shall not supersede 
or other-wise invalidate any such State, local, or municipal 
legislation or ordinance relating to animal fighting ventures 
except in case of a direct and irreconcilable conflict between 
any requirements there-under and this Act or any rule, 
regulation, or standard hereunder.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *