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Cockfighting Still Legal In Louisiana

Bill 652 is voted down by Agriculture Committee, but Senator Lentini will continue to push for criminalized cockfighting.

By Ashley Richards, BT intern

After passing the Louisiana Senate with a 34 to 0 vote, Senator Arthur Lentini’s bill 652, which would have criminalized cockfighting in the state, failed to pass the House before the session’s end June 19, leaving Louisiana and New Mexico as the only states where game fowl fighting remains legal.

The vote by the Agriculture Committee to leave cockfighting laws as they are did not discourage Lentini.

"I’m going to bring it up next year again and I know I can get it through the Senate and there’ll be more pressure to get it through the House,” Lentini said. “When you talk to these representatives individually in the House they all agree that it will eventually become illegal.”

Some of the legislators who voted against SB 652 agreed to a plan that would phase out cockfighting over the next two years, Lentini said. That was not, however, the solution he was seeking. He said it would undercut his credibility and the plan would not account for the animals that would be “slaughtered” during the two-year period.

Representing game fowl breeders, the United Gamefowl Breeders Association Inc., views criminalizing cockfighting as a problem for the well being of the birds.

“Game fowl breeders will be less likely to participate in government programs that promote the health of birds, and thus make it more difficult for the UGBA to monitor flocks across the nation,” UGBA said in a statement.

The health and wellness of the nation’s poultry requires that breeders be involved in government programs, such as the National Poultry Improvement Plan, that promote biosecurity for game fowl, UGBA said.

“If owning game fowl can be perceived as criminal, game fowl breeders will simply not identify themselves to any organization,” UGBA said in their statement. “They will miss out on educational forums on biosecurity and they will not take advantage of government services such as state and federal disease hot lines.”

The money involved in cockfighting prevents legislators representing rural areas from agreeing to criminalize the activity until their constituents are not financially dependent on breeding game fowl, Lentini said.

“There is a tremendous amount of gambling and pre-teens gambling with adults, and just the fact that they are present I think is wrong,” Lentini said. “It’s not a good message for kids. It’s not good for them to see and participate in that.”

The statement made by UGBA reported comments from an ex-law enforcement officer who said there were no sightings of teenagers gambling at cockfighting events during an undercover investigation.

“Senator Lentini’s comments referring to all cockfighting participants as barbarians greatly offended all Latino and Asian countries as well as the 35 million American decedents,” the UGBA statement said.

Dr. Francine Bradley, the Extension Poultry Specialist of the University of California at Davis, told the U.S. Committee on the Judiciary in a May 18 statement that the accusations that game fowl owners have less concern for the health of their animals than other bird owners is “preposterous.”

Nonetheless, Lentini said he believes cockfighting will eventually become illegal.

“I think most people recognize that its days are numbered and in the next several years, I would expect within three, four, five years at top, it will successfully get through the legislature,” he said.


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Cockfighting Still Legal In Louisiana

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Well it's plain to see that people who are against cockfighting don't know anything about how well these birds are cared for. From the time they hatch out of the egg they are treated 1,000 times better than the chickens we are eating. They get plenty of space to roam and get the nutrients they need to be healthy unlike then ones we eat that are piled up in chicken houses. The hens never get fought they get to live out their life being treated like a queen. Then when the rooster gets of a certain age weather he is kept in a cage or running loose his instinst is to kill all the other males. Basically it is natural selection. After the rooster reaches the fighting age he gets a chance to prove himself when he wins he is brought back to the farm where he will be put in a cage with hens for breeding until he dies of old ages. The feathers are not plucked out when they are fought they are trimmed with scissors, how is it different than a human haircut? The roosters that dont win become food for many peoples other animals. This is much better than being in a building with thousands of chickens stacked on top of one another. They dont get a chance to fight for their life their heads are yanked or choped off anyways. So which is really more harsh????? What about the animals that are just killed at the slaughter houses you don't hear people crying over that because they are getting fat off that pig that got shot between the eyes and his throat cut so the blood would drain quicker. It seems to me people are just trying to screw other people out of what they enjoy in life. So why don't we all just stay on our seperate sides of the fence and quit stepping on each others toes. America is the land of the free so lets keep it that way!!!
James Croft, Oak Grove, KY
Posted: 4/1/2011 12:30:12 PM
yes, live and let those chickens live! I thought you people liked birds!
qing, rochester, NY
Posted: 2/9/2011 12:11:13 PM
our 16th president was a noted cocker and he was no barbarian. i say live and let live. keep the two states legal!
darrell, oakland, CA
Posted: 3/18/2010 9:53:07 AM
That is horrible! i read about cockfighting and i cant believe this is still legal in Louisiana. People in certain other countries actually take their children to see these things as a family fun day. I don't understand how anyone could enjoy watching these tortures roosters with their feathers plucked and their wattles cut off fight so viciously. I personally can't even stand thinking about these helpless creatures forced to suffer like this for peoples money and entertainment.
Elaine, Cheshire, CT
Posted: 12/6/2009 8:14:28 AM
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