Congressman Steve King on Defends Dog Fighting, Animal Cruelty-Truth! & Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa pushed back against a bill to make it a federal crime to watch dog fighting, arguing that it was wrong because it’s not a federal crime to watch people fight.

The Truth:

Congressman Steve King made controversial remarks about dog fighting in 2012  — but King stopped just short of saying that dog fighting should be legal.

The situation unfolded in 2012 after Steve King opposed an amendment to the Farm Bill establishing misdemeanor penalties for anyone who attends an organized animal fight, and felony penalties for anyone who brings a minor to an animal fight. When asked about his opposition to the amendment during the tele-town hall meeting, King reasoned that the amendment it would be “wrong” to make it a crime to watch animals fight when it’s not a crime to watch humans fight:

“When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that,” King said.

The comment caused a public backlash, and Congressman Steve King released a second video in an effort to “clarify his statements on dogfighting,” which also went viral at the time :

King opened the second video by saying there “has been real effort to distort this” before continuing:

“What I’ve said is that we need to respect humans more than we do animals. Whenever we start elevating animals up to above that of humans, we’ve crossed a moral line. For example, if there’s a sexual predator out there who has impregnated a young girl, say, a 13-year-old girl — and that happens more times in America than you and I would like to think — that sexual predator could pick that girl up off the playground at the middle school, and haul her across the state line and force her to get an abortion to eradicate the evidence of his crime, and bring her back and drop her off at the swing set, and that’s not against the law in the United States.”

Congressman Steve King’s comments on dog fighting and animal fighting resurfaced in 2017 after he took at the Humane Society, one of his most vocal opponents, on Twitter:

Then, when specifically asked by another Twitter user whether he supported dog fighting or not, Congressman King responded:

However, the Des Moines Register took aim at Congressman King’s record on dog-fighting in February 2017 in an editorial appearing under the headline, “King’s dog-fighting record isn’t what he pretends.” The paper noted that King was one of just 39 House members to oppose stiffer penalties for transporting fighting animals across state lines in 2007 and introduced amendments to the farm bills in 2012 and 2013 that would have prevented state laws promoting animal welfare and food safety, with one amendment “to wipe out state laws restricting the sale of dog and cat meat.” 

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 02/15/2017