Tucked away in the recently passed U.S. Farm Bill is a ban on cockfighting that was signed into law last week and will affect all U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and Guam. According to NPR, the Farm Bill passed last Wednesday, and the cockfighting ban has long been sought by animal rights groups such as the so-called Humane Society (HSUS).
However, when news that one of Puerto Rico’s most popular pass times was to be outlawed starting next year, Puerto Ricans at first were in disbelief, but now are angry. Cockfighting is a centuries old tradition and their island territory has numerous clubs dedicated to the sport that employ hundreds of people. But the overall cockfighting industry, according to Puerto Rican officials interviewed by NPR, generates millions of dollars a year in revenue and thousands of people are employed. As a result of the ban, it will be a blow to Puerto Rico’s economy which is still suffering from the devastation from two hurricanes over past year.
None of the above economic factors means anything to the Humane Society. The group’s President, Kitty Block, (not surprisingly) told NPR she thinks cockfighting is cruel and also says: These are birds that are armed with weapons that slash eyes out, and it’s just a brutal blood sport and it’s really something that should’ve gone a long time ago..
Plastic spurs are attached to the gamecock’s heels with wax and tape. One bird can overpower another and birds can die but animal deaths can happen in any sport where animals are utilized. One solution would be to prohibit the use of weapons in cockfighting events or even implement safety measures making cockfights less violent. Of course, the truth, facts or logic doesn’t matter to nihilistic prudes, like HSUS, since their end goal is to make the lives of humans as miserable as possible by taking away any means of entertainment where animals are used for sport or domestication.
The law takes effect one year after the President signs it, so it gives time for the U.S. territories to organize an effort to repeal the ban. Hopefully, they will and are successful.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia – Puerto Rican cockfighting club, 1937