AR-News: (US) South Alabama's cockfighters
info at animalconcerns.org
Sun Feb 8 10:43:56 EST 2004
[from Mobile Register]
IRVINGTON -- Ollie Seaman, 34, walked across the rows of belly-high metal
shelters on his farm, each topped by a rooster -- a kelso, a hatch, a
roundhead, a claret and dozens of combinations -- all of them the product
of 16 years of breeding and selection.
He handles the bird breeding on his five-acre place, he said, and lets
cockfighting do the selecting.
Always a few die, crumpled on the floors of the cock pits that are hidden
in barns, buildings and back yards.
But it's not those 15 or 20 dead roosters that Seaman wants to talk about.
It's the champions, the ones that prevail.
"If they win anywhere from two to six fights, if I like what I see them do
in the pit, I make them a brood cock and they never fight again," Seaman
said, pointing to the line of 15-by-15-foot wire-and-wood rooms nestled in
the back corner of his farm, each a home to one strutting, battle-proven
rooster and one hen.
Owning a cock pit in Alabama is a misdemeanor that can bring a fine of $20
to $50, but there's no law against raising the fighting birds, attending
fights or entering competitors in them.
Cockfighting is legal in Louisiana and New Mexico and illegal in the other
48 states. The Humane Society of the United States, which describes
Alabama's law as "the weakest in the nation," last week called on the
state's legislators to outlaw cockfight attendance and impose fines for
possession of cockfight paraphernalia.
Alabama's present cockfighting statute allows a largely underground
industry to flourish, said Wayne Pacelle, senior vice president of the
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