AR-News: (KY) HSUS Calls for Car Dealership To Shut Down Cockfighting Promotion

Political Animal politicalanimal13 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 25 12:17:45 EST 2004


Two items below.  First is an action alert from
HUMANELines about a Toyota dealership that is helping
cockfighters.  Below that is a press release HSUS has
put out about this.  Please circulate this to other
animal friendly lists.

TOYOTA DEALER HELPING COCKFIGHTERS:

In Nicholasville, KY, the Nicholasville Toyota
Superstore is supporting groups that promote
cockfighting - even though cockfighting is illegal in
Kentucky! The Superstore is offering two special deals
currently being offered to customers: For every
vehicle sold, the dealership will donate $100 to the
“Victory Fund” of the United Gamefowl Breeders
Association (UGBA). Additionally, the dealership is
giving all members of the UGBA and of the Kentucky
Gamefowl Breeders Association (KYGBA) a $500 discount
off the purchase of any new Toyota truck. Both the
UGBA and the KYGBA are shadowy groups dedicated to the
promotion of extreme, and often illegal, animal
cruelty. The UGBA’s “Victory Fund” pays lawyers across
the country to contest animal fighting laws. In 2001,
the KYGBA was exposed for holding illegal cockfighting
derbies in which roosters outfitted with razor sharp
spurs slashed and stabbed each other to death for the
amusement of spectators. These derbies were
fundraisers for the group.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1. Contact Toyota’s headquarters in New York and ask
the company to insist that its dealership in
Nicholasville, KY end its disturbing partnership with
cockfighting organizations. Animal fighting is an
illegal activity in Kentucky and there is a federal
law against transporting fighting birds to or from
Kentucky! Let them know that the Nicholasville
dealership’s support of illegal and cruel animal
fighting tarnishes the image of the otherwise
reputable Toyota name.
Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
9 West 57th St., Suite 4900
New York, NY 10019
Ph: 800-331-4331
Fax: 212-759-7670

2. Call the Nicholasville Toyota Superstore to let
them you do not approve of their association with
cockfighting and the gamefowl breeder associations.
The Superstore can be reached at 859-887-4200.
 
-------

THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES CALLS FOR
KENTUCKY CAR DEALERSHIP TO SHUT DOWN PROMOTION
SUPPORTING CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES 

Lexington Area Toyota Dealership Promoting and Funding
Cockfighting Group

WASHINGTON (March 25, 2004) —Today, The Humane Society
of the United States (HSUS) strongly criticized Toyota
on Nicholasville (located near Lexington, Kentucky) –
a car dealer that brands itself as the largest Toyota
truck center in the Midwest -- for helping to fund a
group that has a history of involvement in organizing
criminal cockfighting activities in Kentucky.   The
HSUS sent an e-mail alert to tens of thousands of its
members today calling on Toyota national headquarters
to stop this dealer from funding cockfighting
activities. 

A newspaper ad in the cockfighing trade magazine, The
Feathered Warrior, this month boasts a financial
incentive for auto buyers who are members of the
Kentucky United Gamefowl Breeders Association (
KYGBA). Members get a $500 discount on a car or truck
purchase and Toyota on Nicholasville is donating $100
to the UGBA for each car or truck sold.

“The KYGBA is a group of cockfighters that has a
record of promoting the inhumane and barbaric practice
of instigated animal fighting – a practice that is
illegal under Kentucky law,” states Wayne Pacelle, a
senior vice president of The Humane Society of the
United States.  “It is outrageous and unethical for
this Toyota dealer to raise money for this network of
cockfighters.  This promotion should be halted today.”

In recent years, The HSUS has written to the Kentucky
Attorney General over the KYGBA’s “unmistakable and
blatant violation of Kentucky’s prohibition against
cockfighting activities.”

 Not long after The HSUS wrote the Attorney General
about KYGBA’s organizing of cockfighting events, the
Congress passed a federal law to ban any interstate
transport and export of fighting birds. This provision
took effect in May 2003. 

Cockfighting is illegal in Kentucky, as it is in 47
other states. The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed
that cockfighting is illegal in Munn v. Commonwealth
of Kentucky, 889 S.W.2d 49 (1994). There, the Kentucky
court held: “it is clear that in 1974 our state
legislature specifically criminalized the practice of
cockfighting.”

“With a state prohibition on cockfighting, and a
federal ban on interstate transport and export, there
is no legitimate reason for anyone to have fighting
birds in Kentucky,” Pacelle said.  “The KYGBA is a
cockfighting group masquerading as a group of
individuals interested in game fowl.”

In cockfights, handlers pit specially bred roosters
against each other in a contest that almost always
includes illegal gambling. “It is a barbaric and
inhumane practice in which birds are bred for
aggression, pumped up with stimulants and
blood-clotting drugs and placed in a pit to fight to
the death,” Pacelle said.  

To enhance the bloodletting, cockfighters strap knives
or curved ice picks known as gaffs to the birds’ legs.
During a bout, birds suffer punctured lungs, gouged
eyes, broken bones and other grievous injuries. Both
birds often die in the fight. “It is all done for the
amusement and illegal wagering of spectators,” Pacelle
adds.  Busts of animal fights routinely turn up
evidence of illegal gambling, narcotics and other
criminal activity. 

The HSUS is the nation’s largest animal protection
organization with over eight million members and
constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for
animals, with active programs in companion animals and
equine protection, wildlife and habitat protection,
animals in research and farm animals and sustainable
agriculture. The HSUS protects all animals through
legislation, litigation, investigation, education,
advocacy and fieldwork. The non-profit organization,
which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2004, is
based in Washington, DC and has 10 regional offices
across the country.

-	30 –

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