AR-News: Cockfighting out in Beauregard Parish (US - LA)

p.a.wood at p.a.wood at
Sun Aug 17 20:33:19 EDT 2003

[Courtesy: John Goodwin, HSUS]

[This is a bolt out of the blue, and apparently was accomplished by
parish residents and parish government, independent of intervention from
the organized animal welfare movement. This is very encouraging.]  

Deridder Daily News, Deridder, Louisiana


By Angela Mannzen, Staff Writer

After a heated discussion, the Beauregard Parish Police Jury passed an
ordinance Tuesday outlawing cockfighting, with only two nay votes -
jurors Tommy Brown and Byrel Book.

The ordinance was introduced by Gerald McLeod in April when residents
from his district complained that a rooster breeder had moved into the
area and built pens on six acres of land. The residents were concerned
not only about cockfighting, but the elements that they said go along
with it ,including gambling and alcohol.

The ordinance was drafted at the May meeting by the police jury's legal
adviser, Steven Landreneau. At the Aug. 6 meeting there was confusion
about the wording of the ordinance, and rewriting the ordinance was

Landreneau spoke at a Tuesday afternoon police jury committee meeting to
say the ordinance would stand as it was.

"You can't read just one sentence in a statute," said Landreneau. "This
does not discuss people selling feed. It is specific in nature about
outlawing cockfighting. I don't think the statute needs to be changed. If
you intentionally engage the roosters to fight, including sparring, you
are guilty."

Pastor Michael Cole of the Singer United Pentecostal Church attended the
meeting to represent his congregation, who, he said, support the

Dwain White of Singer, who raises and sells roosters, was vocal in his
objection to the ordinance.

Greg Nothnagel opened discussion on the ordinance at the full jury's
evening meeting.

"Cockfighting has been hashed and rehashed on the jury and now it is time
for the final public hearing," said Nothnagel. "Our assistant DA was here
and explained that feed stores or people who raise birds have nothing to
do with this ordinance."

Mark Johnson, owner of a cockfighting pit in Vinton, spoke vehemently
against passing the ordinance. He read a portion of the ordinance and
opened a dictionary to read the definitions of association, associated
and business. He argued that business owners selling feed to breeders
would be breaking the law.

"I don't care what your DA said," Johnson told the jurors. He reminded
the jurors they were up for reelection.

Nothnagel told him he was interpreting the ordinance wrong.

"We are residents of Beauregard Parish and citizens of the United
States," said Johnson. "I don't believe your DA can define the English
language any better that a Webster's Dictionary. We being taxpayers of
Beauregard Parish, there will be money wasted in lawsuits."

"Bring it on," said Mike Nothnagel.

Sadie Sigler spoke for the ordinance.

"We moved from Calcasieu Parish to Beauregard Parish," said Sigler.
"There is a pit 150 feet from my children's bedroom door. There is
alcohol, fighting and cussing."

After much discussion the jurors voted to pass the ordinance.

[The rest of the article ... deleted... is about other parish business]



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