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 COCKFIGHTING: A blood sport for roosters

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COCKFIGHTING: A blood sport for roosters Empty
PostSubject: COCKFIGHTING: A blood sport for roosters   COCKFIGHTING: A blood sport for roosters I_icon_minitimeThu Aug 19, 2010 7:55 am

Although it is illegal in 49 states, cockfighting is a tradition that dates back several centuries and spans several cultures. Thus it is difficult to stamp out. Like other illegal animal fights, cockfights take place surreptitiously

What is Cockfighting?

Cockfighting is an organized fight between two roosters who are placed in a pit to fight each other. The roosters have been trained to severely injure and/or kill one another. These birds, which are raised for the purpose of fighting, are tormented to make them aggressive. They are also given various legal and illegal drugs such as strychnine, caffeine, amphetamines, and epinephrine to make them more aggressive, increase their endurance and clot the blood that will flow during the fight.

The natural spurs of the roosters are sawed off and replaced by razor sharp steel blades or curved implements called gaffs which measure from one to three inches long. During the fight, from which neither rooster can escape, the birds peck and maim one another with their beaks and weapons. The long, sharp gaffs stab deep into the flesh often requiring handlers to physically pull the animals apart. Although they have been bred to fight, the animals often become tired, incapable and suffer severe injuries. The fight only ends when one rooster is dead or is too weak to fight. The loser then gets thrown in the trash, sometimes while still alive. For the winner, there is no guarantee that he will survive his injuries and often ends up with the same fate as the losing bird.

Cockfights are held before an arena of cheering spectators who often wager large sums of money on the outcome of the contest. Children are often present at the fights, leading to concern that they are being desensitized to the suffering of others and they are being encouraged to use violence.

Don’t these birds fight naturally?
Although these birds in a flock will often fight to establish a “pecking order”, these battles rarely result in injury. Wild roosters conduct ritual showdowns that, as with wolves and many other animals, substitute for and deflect from actual physical combat. Only birds that have been bred and provoked to fight will inflict the serious injuries seen in cockfighting. Also, unlike birds in the wild, these animals cannot escape. They are placed in an enclosed pit and forced to fight until one quits, is severely injured, or dies.

Isn’t cockfighting a cultural tradition?

While cockfighting may be a tradition in some cultures, not all traditions are good ones that deserve to continue. Cesar Chavez, who condemned the practice of cockfighting, once wrote: “Kindness and compassion toward all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people.” In a statewide survey conducted in Arizona in 1997, 95% of Hispanic voters said they felt that cockfighting was “cruel and inhumane.” While only 34% of Anglo respondents disagreed that “cockfighting is an important part of Hispanic culture,” 70% of Hispanics disagreed with the statement.


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