Why Cockfighting Should Be Legal
In violation of applicable law – “Oklahoma tops list of illegal shipments of fighting chickens”, AWA describes itself as a 501(c)(4) organization based in Washington, DC with a mission to help animals by promoting legal norms prohibiting cruelty. He pointed out that to ensure that the roosters shipped come from a line of “winners,” a large continuous sample must prove this to be true — and this can only be achieved by engaging them in cockfighting before being shipped to places where cockfighting is legal. In many cases, the Humane Society works with local law enforcement to stop cockfighting. Footage from one of their informants led to the raid in southeast Dallas last week. Four Humane Society employees joined police and animal cruelty officers as they met in the wooded area, where a dilapidated brick structure with clay floor served as a pit for fighting. Muñoz, a senior animal cruelty officer in Dallas, found about 100 birds, 30 of them, that were dead or injured. The seizure resulted in only a handful of arrests that day, none of whom were the organizers of the fight. Nuñez, the senior officer on the ground, said the bust was unlikely to stop the operation. “Maybe they could move away from this place,” he said. We have been working for decades to change the legal landscape of fighting roosters, but our work is not done. As of 2021, cockfighting is a crime in every state, and 42 states are punishing it as a crime.
It is illegal to be a spectator in fights in 43 states, to own or sell birds for fights in 39 states, and to possess animal fighting accessories in 29 states. Only five states explicitly prohibit adults from taking a child to a fight. If you suspect that these illegal activities are taking place in your neighborhood, please contact your local law enforcement. But the new laws won`t change the fact that cockfighting remains a deeply rooted pastime in many parts of Texas. Barnes, the chicken farmer from Weimar, said rooster farming is much more important than most people and especially the Humane Society realize. “I keep them well fed, well watered, and I have about four or five dogs with them that keep the varmints out,” he said. Barnes said he was not an outlaw or drug dealer, but participated in his cockfights and they were not the nests of illegal activities that others describe. “That`s a lot of people who have money in cockfights,” he said. Although he said he doesn`t raise fighting birds — they`re mostly for shows and chicken dumplings — Barnes said raising wild roosters wouldn`t stop the clandestine events. Under Oklahoma`s existing “ban,” approved as an election initiative in 2002, participation in cockfighting is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
If you think cockfighting is happening in your neighbourhood, let local law enforcement know or contact ASPCA for advice and support. A recent attempt to reduce state sentences for cockfighting activities by “decriminalizing the ownership and training of fighting animals” was introduced in Oklahoma, but initially did not pass. Let`s go first to the Humane Society, which has a pretty good definition of what cockfighting is and why you should have them banned, if you are making fun of animals: Humphrey`s bill would also remove the wording of the current definition of “cockfighting,” which is “any training fight in which birds are intended or encouraged to do so.” to attack or fight with each other” and lift the ban on advertising a cockfight. However, a clever political maneuver has “brought him back to life” and the matter will soon be decided by the legislature. If passed, it could open the door to weakening cockfighting laws across the U.S. Cockfighting — a bloodthirsty sport in which roosters are placed in a ring and forced to fight to the death to “amuse” spectators — is illegal everywhere in the United States. Obviously yes, cockfighting is a barbaric bloodthirsty sport, and if roosters are able to think consciously, they are almost certainly not like, fuck, yes, I want to be cut by another rooster with knives on its claws while drunk people yell at me! But if U.S. lawmakers want to start passing legislation that reflects concerns for poultry, perhaps they should start with the 9 billion chickens killed and processed into food in the U.S. each year. While some of these birds undoubtedly live happy lives on farms and peck the land, many of these chickens have lives like this: Turning cockfighting from a misdemeanor to a crime, as Utah does, is a convenient way for lawmakers to say they don`t like sports.
But it seems that existing laws. Plus, people who aren`t as cool as they used to are wiping themselves when animals kill each other for our entertainment like they used to. (The New York Times reported on the decline in cockfighting in 2008.) Even if cockfighting were legalized, as advocated by this online petition quoting Abraham Lincoln, I doubt we`d see roosters strutting and clutching each other on ESPN2. The sport will eventually disappear in the United States, even without flashy police raids like this one: While it`s a crime in Texas to fight roosters, it`s not illegal to breed fighting roosters, participate in a cockfight, or own utensils like razor blades called gaffles that owners attach to birds` legs to improve their fighting power. The Humane Society says these loopholes make it even more difficult to crack down on cockfighting. In 2009, a bill that would have criminalized such activities was passed by both the Texas House of Representatives and Senate. However, it was sunk at the last minute by then-Rep. Terri Hodge, D-Dallas, who resigned after pleading guilty earlier this year to bringing charges stemming from an independent federal investigation into public corruption. Ms. Hodge testified at public hearings that she had concerns about the way the bill was drafted. Now that Hodge is gone, animal rights activists hope to pass similar legislation in the next session.
Cockfighting, one of the oldest spectator sports in the world, has been taking place since the beginning of recorded times. In today`s culture, the word is used for the names of high school and college sports teams and a rooster is the mascot of a popular English football team. Cockfighting has been the subject of movies and featured in an episode of the popular TV show “Seinfeld.” Reviews of cockfighting point to the brutality of the sport and the treatment of animals bred for fighting. Cockfights often end with the death of one of the competitors, and many involve spurs attached to the rooster`s feet. Critics also point out that cockfighting is often associated with illegal gambling activities, and birds are usually given illegal drugs to increase their fighting ability and stamina. Cockfighting in Texas has been illegal for decades, but a lengthy investigation by the Humane Society has uncovered more than a dozen active networks across the state. What is not illegal is raising fighting roosters, participating in a cockfight or owning accessories related to cockfighting – such as gaffes, razor blades that owners attach to birds` legs to make them even more deadly. Animal rights activists were on the verge of criminalizing such activities in the last legislature, which they say is crucial to ending cockfighting. They plan to try again next year.
Goodwin, of the Humane Society, said the penalty for engaging in cockfighting in any way must outweigh the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars people can earn by participating. “This crime is all about financial gain,” he said. The results of an investigation conducted by Animal Wellness Action (AWA) revealed that two dozen cockfighting operators in Oklahoma were illegally shipping birds to Mexico, the Philippines and about 20 other countries, Enid News reported on May 26, 2020. And besides, he said, cockfights are not as brutal as some of the industrial killing processes used by big food companies. At least in the ring, he said, roosters can defend themselves. “You have 50-50 chances,” he said. “And they were bred for thousands of years to fight all over the world.” The animal fighting experts of the HSUS Animal Rescue Team regularly work with the U.S. Department of Justice – agencies such as the USDA`s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the FBI, the U.S. Marshalls, and the Department of Homeland Security that participate in cockfighting investigations and raids. Our professional investigators provide information about roosters and their operations, put them in touch with confidential informants, pay rewards for information leading to prosecutions, and intervene in certain circumstances to help with evidence gathering and animal care.
In addition, our animal fighting investigators are experts certified by state and federal courts, and we regularly prepare expert opinions to assist with law enforcement. Although all states prohibit cockfighting, some states go even further by banning ancillary activities such as owning roosters or equipment for cockfighting and participating in cockfighting. Thirty-one states allow possession of cockfighting equipment, and 12 — Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah — allow the possession of a cockfight, even if cockfighting is illegal.