The Humane Society of the United States commends the Indiana Senate for passing S.B. 11, sponsored by Sen. James Arnold – District 8. This legislation will make it a felony to attend an animal fight since spectator admission fees and gambling dollars finance illegal dog fights and cockfights. This bill, which sat in the Senate Corrections, Criminal & Civil Matters Committee for the past 4 sessions, was approved by the Senate with a 38-10 vote.
It's generally thought that the providers of an illegal activity should face harsher penalties than those who merely take part in the activity. But whenever the authorities want to make a point, they start cracking down on the users, too, whether they be smokers of weed who get thrown in the slammer or patrons of prostitutes who have their names made embarrassingly public. The crackdowns are often accompanied by great debates about "victimless crimes" and whether the law should be more rehabilitative and less punitive.
The difference here is that there are victims, and their abuse creates such revulsion that there isn't likely to be any backlash against making felons out of those who just attend the fights. Any time we're discouraged about the current moral state of the human race, it's worth remembering that animal fighting was once the preferred sport of nobility. It's now outlawed in all 50 states.