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Norwich Bulletin - 10/4/2009

Bloodsports - Part One

Cockfighting is an organized fight between roosters in which people place bets on the outcome of the fight. The end result is always the death of one of the roosters. The competitors strap on gaffs (razor sharp knives) onto the birds’ legs, which cause lethal injuries. Many times the birds are doped up on stimulants and tormented into anger by being held face to face. Then they are dropped into a pit and the fighting begins. The loser bird, the bird not strong enough to pull free from the weapons sunk deep into their flesh – is left for dead. Thrown out with the trash.

Sound like fun? I have heard the argument that this “sport” is cultural and even considered a family event, in which children are taught the game. My answer to that? Well, bullfighting is a cultural event in Spain – it is not legal in the United States. If someone wants to “enjoy” the cultural flavor of a bullfight – one should go to Spain. The same with cockfighting. If this is a cultural “sport” in Mexico or one of the other Spanish speaking countries, then one should go there to indulge in the sport as it is illegal in all but three states (New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma).

It is inhumane and cruel and it is not a cultural sport in the United States. The U.S. laws need to be followed, whether it is against one’s culture or not. There are actually some cultures in which the father deflowers the daughter and teaches her about pleasing a man. It’s definitely illegal here in the United States, and everyone can easily agree with that. It’s really no different with cockfighting.

It is offensive for humans to entertain themselves by watching two animals hack each other apart. The whole purpose of cockfighting is to cause the death of one of the animals. All civilized societies (are you listening Oklahoma) should immediately ban this activity.

What does cockfighting do to families? Well, for one thing, children learn that it is okay to hurt animals for fun and that animals are disposable. Hidden cameras at Cockfights have shown children wringing the necks of dying birds and flinging them into the trash. A national sport? Not one of ours and it needs to be stopped everywhere in the United States. I urge everyone to write to Washington and let them know that we need a federal law against cockfighting!

And it’s not just roosters! Canary fighting? Who would have thought that these beautiful little song birds can be used in a bloodsport? Turns out that canaries are not social by nature. In fact, males will fight with each other often with fatal results and if the female is not ready to breed, the male will kill her as well. It doesn’t take much to encourage these vicious little birds to fight. Again, the human bets on the outcome and the canaries are set on each other.

It’s not just birds that are used in these inhumane ways. There are many other animals bloodsports and, in the next few weeks, I will write about many of them. My intentions? To horrify people enough to incite them to write to force the lawmakers in Washington to change the laws and make all animal fighting in any capacity a federal offense.

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