Anti-Cockfighters Have Friends in U.S. Congress--and Oklahoma
On February 3rd, Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado introduced Senate Bill 345. The bill seeks to close the Animal Welfare Act loophole that permits interstate movement of live birds for the purpose of fighting to states in which animal fighting is still legal. S. 345 will "clarify that possession of fighting birds in any of the 47 states should then be illegal, as shipping them out for cockfighting purposes would be illegal."
Cockfighting is still legal in Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana. In Virginia it is legal to fight birds but not to make money from it. Cockfighting was banned by voters in Arizona and Missouri last November. If Senator Allard's bill becomes law, it will be a crime, for example, to ship birds intended for cockfighting from Texas, where cockfighting is illegal, to Oklahoma, where it is still legal--but probably not for long.
The influential Oklahoma newspaper Tulsa World published a strong editorial endorsement of Senator Allard's bill on February 12th, noting that "cockfighting is a cruel and unnatural application of the birds' natural instincts." It backed up Senator Allard's argument that "State law-enforcement agencies are thwarted in enforcing their own bans because cockfighters simply claim they possess the birds not for fighting in their own states, but in states where the activity is still legal. This argument understandably leaves law enforcement reluctant to pursue any criminal charges, even in the face of evidence suggesting their own laws are being violated. . . . Congress can take a big step to help those states which have taken a more humane view of the matter to enforce their own laws."
Thank you. United Poultry Concerns. February 26, 1999
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
(UPC Action Alert - New Anti-Cockfighting Legislation! )