AR-News: Shreveport Times Endorses Cockfight Ban for Louisiana

Political Animal politicalanimal13 at
Mon Jan 12 07:54:59 EST 2004


State should join Caddo by outlawing cockfighting
Editorial Board 
Posted on January 12, 2004 

Enforcement of a parish ordinance now pits Caddo
Parish against the state. 

In this case, the big picture - whether the state law
supersedes a local ordinance and whether a parish
operating under a charter has the right to make and
enforce a law that goes beyond the scope of a state
law - isn't the most noticeable issue. 

An ordinance adopted in 1987 prohibits cruelty to
animals, and the wording of the ordinance indicates
cockfighting is illegal. However, cockfighting is
legal in a grand total of two states - and Louisiana
is one of them. 

The contest involves two fighting roosters fitted with
spurs. The winner lives; the loser dies or is maimed.
On one side, supporters tout the economics: Advocates
travel to cockfights bringing their money for
overnight stays, restaurants and, most of all,
betting. On the opposite side, detractors point to the
obvious cruelty of the blood sport. 

And yet another element may creep into the argument as
well. Without the gambling element, cockfighting would
not exist. How can it be legal? Unlike other forms of
gambling, there has been no referendum on
cockfighting. There is no state regulatory agency or

The argument that the roosters are doing what comes
naturally - fighting - is intellectually dishonest.
The birds are bred for aggressiveness, solely for the
purpose of fighting. They are fitted with spurs
intended to make them more lethal to their opponents.
There are claims the animals are drugged to maximize
their aggression and endurance in the fight. In the
wild or without human intervention, these birds may
not have to fight; in captivity, the fighting is

There's no reasonable justification for cockfighting
to be legal in the state, and it's time for Louisiana
to join the long list of states that have outlawed it.


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