Cockfighting …

… is sport in Louisiana.

But “[t]oday, the Louisiana House of Representatives approved a bill to ban any gambling at cockfights, dealing a blow to cockfighting enthusiasts who attend the fights both for the bloodletting and the wagering,” as reported here by Media Newswire. Don’t start counting eggs just yet, though. Some House members believe that cockfighters should have another year before having to get out of business.

“If the House is not willing to adopt a six-month ban on cock fighting, it is apparent that the legislation will die and another session will pass without legislation to ban this barbaric activity,” added Pacelle. “It is time for the House to compromise, and not bend over backwards to accommodate the wishes of cockfighters.”

The dispute in the legislature also sparked a reaction from U.S. Sen. David Vitter, who has been a long-time opponent of cockfighting. “Louisiana is the last state in the country to allow cockfighting, and this practice casts a negative image of our state that hurts our ability to bring in good jobs and foster economic development,” said Vitter.

Vitter and the rest of the Louisiana Congressional delegation favored a federal bill, enacted in May that established an immediate ban on any interstate transport of cockfighting implements and immediately toughened the federal penalties for interstate transport of animals for fighting.

The issue is interesting. The Humane Society of the United States has posted a Cockfighting Fact Sheet. Describing it as a “centuries-old blood sport,” the HSUS points to animal suffering, gambling, unreported income, drugs and even homicide as “concerns” endemic to the sport. One proponent of cockfighting, however, asks “If you don’t mind eating birds raised in horrific cramped conditions and pumped with steroids to the point some can’t support their own weight, then why mind a few birds dying for sport?” “If that’s the case then Chick-fil-A should be banned.”

One of my college roommates briefly majored in “Poultry Sciences.” (I’m not sure why; nor is he.) I say “briefly” because, upon visiting his first poultry processing plant, he promptly changed his major. A chicken is tasty, but its final moment is not for the faint of heart.

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