Nancy Mace leads congressional coalition calling for crackdown on illegal animal fighting shipments

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Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD)- Representative Nancy Mace, along with 36 members of Congress, is calling on the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) to crackdown against illegal animal fighting shipments.

In a letter sent to USPIS, Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Nancy Mace (R-SC), expressed concerns about USPS’ role in transporting animals, specifically birds, for illegal fighting purposes. The letter was signed by 36 members of the U.S. House including 24 Democrats and 12 Republicans.

The call comes on the heels of a series of Animal Wellness Action (AWA) investigations that revealed annually thousands of fighting roosters are shipped in boxes through the U.S. for fighting purposes. More than 10,000 birds have been shipped to Guam over the past four years.

“We need to stop the shipment of animals, for fighting purposes, via the U.S. Post Service,” Mace said. “This barbaric and cruel practice needs further investigation and those responsible need to be held accountable. I urge the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to work more aggressively to interdict illegal trafficking of fighting animals through U.S. mail.” 

Since 2002, the U.S. has prohibited any interstate or foreign transport of animals for fighting purposes. Felony-level penalties for those crimes were established by Congress in 2007, including a provision that specifically prohibits any person from using the US Postal Service to promote or further any animal fighting venture.

“The U.S. has banned any interstate or foreign transport of animals for fighting purposes for nearly 20 years, yet the problem still persists. We must take action to better enforce our laws and end this immoral practice,” Quigley said. “With evidence pointing to the U.S. mail as the primary means of transport for these animals—it is past time for the USPS to treat the illegal shipment of fighting animals as a high priority and work to end this once and for all.”

Executive Director for AWA, Marty Irby, applauded Mace and Quigley for taking a stand against this issue.

“We applaud Reps. Nancy Mace and Mike Quigley for their leadership and tireless work for the animals we all care so deeply about, and all of the Members who joined this effort,” Irby said. “Cockfighting is not only inhumane and unconscionable but, it’s a health and human safety threat, given the role of this blood-sport in spreading Newcastle disease, and Avian influenza — the U.S. Postal Inspector should crackdown against this form of staged cruelty.”

Members who signed the letter include: Reps. Alma Adams, D-N.C., Collin Allred, D-Tex., Don Bacon, R-Neb., Julia Brownley, D-Ca., Buddy Carter, R-Ga.,  Troy Carter, D-La., Jim Cooper D-Tenn., Angie Craig, D-Minn., Madeline Dean, D-Pa., Peter DeFazio, D-Oreg., Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Mike Garcia, R-Ca., Michael Guest, R-Miss., Lance Gooden, R-Tex., Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., Sara Jacobs, D-Ca., John Katko, R-N.Y., Ted Lieu, D-Calif, Zoe Lofgren, D-Ca., Lucy McBath, D-Ga., Betty McCollum, D-Minn., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Joe Neguse, D-Colo., Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., Chris Pappas, D-N.H., Scott Peters, D-Ca., Mark Pocan, D-Wis., Bill Posey, R-Fla., Kurt Schrader, DVM, D-Oreg., Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., Dina Titus, D-Nev., Norma Torres, D-Ca., and Fred Upton, R-Mich.

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