New Anti-Cockfighting Legislation!
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."
- Contact your two U.S. Senators and urge them to support S. 345.
United States Senate______________
Washington, DC 20510
Tip: If you do not know who your senators are, visit http://www.voxpop.org/
and enter in your zip code for your senators' contact information.
- Oklahoma Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) is
launching a campaign to ban cockfighting in Oklahoma, "the
cockfighting capital of the world." The effort consists of a
petition drive to put the question on the ballot in November
2000. To find out how you can help--start-up funds are urgently
needed--contact Gary Moore, Director, OSPCA, PO Box 581014,
Tulsa, OK 74158-1014. Ph: 918-288-2300; fax 918-595-7906.