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12:29 pm CST - September 01, 2011

Posted under The Scoop

Tough New Texas Cockfighting Law Now In Effect


Owning, possessing or training a cock with the intent for cockfighting now illegal

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – In Texas, it is now illegal for individuals to attend cockfights, possess birds with the intent to fight, and sell and possess the razor sharp weapons that are designed to increase the bloodletting in cockfights. “Closing these loopholes is essential in cracking down on the entire cast of characters involved in cockfighting,” said Nicole Paquette, Texas senior state director for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). 

The Humane Society of the United States, on behalf of its more than 500,000 supporters in Texas, celebrates this measure’s passage and thanks Rep. Wayne Christian, R-District 9, and Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-District 27, for championing HB 1043 through the process.

“The spectators fuel this illegal activity and implementation of this new law will send a strong message that cockfighting will not be tolerated in the Lone Star state,” Paquette said.

Cockfighting is a cruel activity involving the deliberate pitting of animals against each other to fight to the death for the sole purpose of gambling and the entertainment of spectators. Roosters used for fighting are often drugged to heighten their aggression and forced to keep them fighting even after they’ve suffered severe injuries such as deep gashes, punctured lungs, and pierced eyes.

Young children are often brought to these events and exposed to the gruesome spectacle as acceptable entertainment.

The HSUS conducted two investigations into cockfighting in Texas which showed that this crime is widespread throughout the state. In 2010, undercover investigators attended cockfights at nearly 20 pits throughout Texas and documented about 100 locations where cockfights are regularly held.

Investigators used hidden cameras to document repeated acts of animal cruelty as well as the presence of young children, widespread illegal gambling, and prostitution. The HSUS investigative team also went undercover in April, 2011 with ESPN E: 60 into a cockfighting ring in Gunter, Texas which highlighted the need for stronger laws to ensure that all participants in the illegal activity are charged with a crime.

Enactment of HB 1043 provides law enforcement with the tools to crackdown on this illegal activity and aligns Texas’s laws with neighboring states and most of the country. The HSUS stands ready to assist law enforcement in their efforts.

Facts:

  • Cockfighting is outlawed in all 50 states and is punished as a felony in 39.
  • With passage of House Bill 1043, 38 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the possession of birds for fighting; 43 states and the District of Columbia prohibit being a spectator at cockfights; and 15 states prohibit the possession of cockfighting implements.
  • Spectators pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in admission fees and gambling bets, generating the bulk of the revenue for this illegal enterprise. The fights would not occur without the crowd betting on the outcome and enjoying the bloodletting. Spectators provide cover for animal fighters, who weave into crowds to evade prosecution at the first sign of a police raid.
  • House Bill 1043 makes the following activities a crime: 
  1. participating in the earnings of a cockfight (a state jail felony);
  2. using or permitting another to use property for cockfighting (a class A misdemeanor);
  3. manufacturing, buying, selling, possessing cockfighting equipment (a class A misdemeanor);
  4. owning, possessing or training a cock with the intent that it be used for cockfighting (class A misdemeanor); or
  5. attending as a spectator an exhibition of cockfighting (class C misdemeanor for first offense and class A misdemeanor for future offenses)

The United States Congress is considering H.R. 2492 which would amend the federal animal fighting law to include spectators. This would allow for cases prosecuted in federal court to include the entire cast of characters that participate in animal fighting ventures.

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24 Comments

Walter Biddle
1:14 pm CST
September 01, 2011


It is a sad day when we value the life of an animal over that of a human being. The facts as they are provided by the HSUS are not accurate. Cockfighghters are not driven by the spectators gambling as they do not receive that money. Our constitution says that all men are created equal. It says nothing about animals and man being created equal. To take away a mans means of providing for his family through the sale of his livestock is unconstitutional. I know people that support the HSUS but they don’t mind eating a fine steak from an animal that was slaughtered for a man to provide for his family. This seems like a hypocrite to me. This is suppose to be a free country. Just because you do not agree with what some people do does not mean that it should be illegal. Jails should be for real criminals not for people fighting roosters. Everything they say about cockfighting from alcohol to gambling to so called prostitution can be found everywhere across the U.S. in everyday life. I don’t see anyone protesting all the alcohol sold at major sporting events that are suppose to be family oriented events. Leave cockfighters alone as we are not bothering anyone. They are far more serious issues that need to be addressed in our society.

John
1:46 pm CST
September 01, 2011


This is great! I’m glad this law has gone into effect. The DEA even says that cockfighting pits are used by drug cartels for distributing narcotics. And those knives they put on the birds legs to increase the blood and gore… nasty. This is a great law!

Xira
3:02 pm CST
September 01, 2011


I know! Let’s make more things blacks do illegal so our fascist police state can arrest and jail even more of them! So out buddies in the prison/industrial complex can make even more fat money from the government ‘keeping em’ (whites) safe’, so the government can pick and choose the winners and losers(via selective enforcement of over a million laws + picking who gets the contracts to jail em’ all) and keep the sheeple from revolting(via random enforcement of arbitrary selected laws).

I know! Let’s just be a 3rd world police state instead, where a cop can lock anyone up for as long as he feels like for any reason whatsoever, unless that person can pay a ‘liberty bond’!

tomas jefferson
3:43 pm CST
September 01, 2011


very sad day for humanity when the life when animals have more right than our kids,they should have child molesters, rapist ,our government is broke we need the space for this people. not for people watching a chicken fight.people wake up.chickens have been fought since beginning of time.

kevin mccright
4:48 pm CST
September 01, 2011


It is now official. There is no one left but ignorant pinheads left in Texas government. Congratulations to all the Perry sheep. Baaaaa! Baaaaaa!

Capt. Tom
8:41 pm CST
September 01, 2011


Thanks for your information, Mr. Biddle. You have made it clear where you stand, and I hope you are under investigation soon.

Xira
9:26 pm CST
September 01, 2011


Hey Capt. Fascist pig-hole. Everyone’s under investigation, all the time, every day, for every thing.

Even you.

Step out of line, expect them to smack you down. That’s right, even pig-holes get smacked down. Posting the truth on a quasi-anon board doesn’t count (yet) as out-of-line.

Rodolfo Casas
9:59 pm CST
September 01, 2011


Why are we wasting our time on the HSUS agenda? How can a non profit dictate the functions of the Texas Government. If it was up to them we would all be eating vegetables. Why can’t our Texas government focus on real problems, drugs, illegals, welfare abuse, child molesters, and rapist. This is an attack on rural America. If people have to respect everybody’s elses rights, then respect the rights to harvest gamefowl. Watch out Cattle industry and anything having to do with animals, it will not be long before your rights to harvest your animals will be taken away from you.

Walter Biddle
5:55 am CST
September 01, 2011


Capt. Tom, thank you for taking the time to read my post. Whoever can investigate me. I am a law abiding citizen that works between 50-60 hours a week to provide for my family. I am not out driving while intoxicated endangering peoples lives. It is sad because you do not agree with my opinion that you feel I should be investigated. For what? This is not a communist country. We do have freedom of the press here in America. Thank you again for reading my post.

Ruthann Panipinto
6:35 am CST
September 01, 2011


I don’t always agree with the opinions and findings of the HSUS. HSUS stats or anything it may have to say aside, thank you for making it illegal for humans to make money off of, gets their weird kicks from, or in any way benefit from animals’ suffering.
If cockfighting is someone’s only source of income or survival they need a desperate wakeup call. It’s 2011 people. Texas is finally getting with the times!
Thank you for reading.

oops
9:35 am CST
September 01, 2011


@Xira – wow, you’re one hell of a racist. You think only Blacks participate in cockfighting? All of the cockfighting shirts and hats they sell around Houston have writing in Spanish on them, but I’m not going to say “Hey, we’re passing a law that serves only to criminalize behavior undertaken by Messicans!”, or if you prefer “Ay! Esta ley es solamente para hacer ilegal los Mexicanos!”

No. We’re criminalizing behavior that anyone, of any race, should not be partaking in; at least based on the court of public opinion. I don’t believe any good comes of cockfighting, although I stand up for the rights of humans to slaughter chickens so that said chickens can be made into nuggets, wings, sandwiches and even tacos, with delicious sauces to accompany them.

But I bet you think all the laws on the books are intended to criminalize behavior of minorities.

Why does race come into this at all? Why does anyone, of any race, seem to think that laws are passed just to take out specific races? What that really means, in retrospect, is that you think Black folks (or Latinos, or Canadians, or Martians, or whomever) CANNOT CONTROL THEIR BEHAVIOR. Your statements above mean you think that ALL BLACKS cannot help themselves but to participate in a cockfight. Or that ALL BLACKS cannot prevent themselves from being found with marijuana or cocaine in their possession. Or that ALL BLACKS can’t prevent themselves from committing rape, or murder, or robbery, or whatever laws you think are racially biased. THAT MEANS THAT *YOU* ARE THE RACIST, NOT THE PEOPLE PASSING THE LAWS, AND NOT THE PEOPLE ENFORCING THE LAWS. *YOU* are the one keeping the black man down. *YOU* are the one keeping him in de facto slavery. *YOU* are the one DIRECTING him to commit those crimes, because *YOU* are giving him an excuse to do so, and *YOU* even give him ‘street cred’ for having been in the state penitentiary.

*YOU* are an idiot.

oops
9:55 am CST
September 01, 2011


@Rodolfo Casas: “This is an attack on rural America. If people have to respect everybody’s elses rights, then respect the rights to harvest gamefowl.”

Really? REALLY? so, you believe everyone in rural america participates in cockfights, and you believe that they should. You actually believe it’s a right, somehow. WOW. Tell me, where is that in the Constitution? Is that the 73rd amendment, “The right of the people to keep and bear gamefowl, defined as birds kept for the express purpose of fighting, shall not be infringed.” ?

Lashrito
10:29 am CST
September 01, 2011


Thank you all so much! This is one of the more entertaining and hilarious comment threads I’ve ever stumbled upon.

Chick for Chicken
1:01 pm CST
September 01, 2011


Is it wrong that this is really making me crave a chicken sandwich? Mmmm! I’m all for the ban on cockfighting if it means more poultry will be freed up for eating!

HARD WORKING FARMER
4:32 pm CST
September 01, 2011


looks like mr. oops seems to know it all ! I wonder if he know anything ABOUT forgiveness and love for one another. It’s easy to confuse between what is really on ! ALL OF THESE PEOPLE, ALL HAVE A MOTIVE BEHIND THERE ACTIONS, SOMETHING DRIVING THEM, MOST ARE TRAPPED IN THERE LIFE WITHOUT LOOKING AT THERE OWN HEART. I WOULD LIKE FOR OOPS TO LOOK AT THE HOLY BIBLE IN GENESIS CHAPTER 1 VERSE 28, AND GOD BLESSED THEM, AND GOD SAID UNTO THEM, BE FRUITFUL, A MULTIPLY, AND REPLENSH THE EARTH, AND SUBDUE IT: AND HAVE DOMINION OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA, AND OVER THE FOWL OF THE AIR, AND OVER EVERY LIVING THING THAT MOVETH UPON THE EARTH. I MY SELF HAVE A SMALL FARM HERE IN TEXAS. I HAVE A FEW HORSES, ABOUT 30 PIGS AND ALL DIFFRENT KINDS OF CHICKENS AND I’AM SO THANKFUL I HAVE DOMINION OVER THEM. YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT I TAKE GOOD CARE OF THEM ALL THAT’S TO SAY THE ANIMALS WELFARE BECAUSE I KILL A PIG FOR MY FAMILY TO EAT AND GET EGGS FROM MY CHICKEN AND EAT THEM TOO. WHY DO THEY MAKE LAWS THAT GIVE THE ANIMAL RIGHTS. NO ONE CARE ABOUT THE CARE OF THEM (WELFARE).MOST PEOPLE WHO DONE RAISE ANIMALS DON’T KNOW WHAT THERE REALLY TALKING ABOUT. IF YOU CAME TO MY FARM A PUT A PIG IN A DIFFRENT PEN THERE GOING TO FIGHT. MOST PEOPLE SAY WHY ARE THEY FIGHTING. THIS IS THE ANIMAL WORLD, HE OR SHE’S FIGHTING FOR HIS RIGHT TO EAT OR MATE. so lets leave each other alone and love your neighbor god bless all !

tony villalobos
5:56 am CST
September 01, 2011


Well, now the police have the right through permission from the humane society to come in a house with gun drawn just because a person has gamefowl. The children better not run at the sight of a swat team coming in their house because they have permission to shoot them just to protect the rights of a chicken. This law, which is unconstitutional , because nowhere in the constitution is there a clause giving animal rights the same as a human. Nobody makes animals fight by force they all fight to protect their mate and food. Man at one time also had this natural instinct, he used to kill just to protect his children and mate and food and we have almost lost that right because of gun laws fear of going to jail, but we can reason which is what animals can’t do.
Anyway I would hate to be a rooster and get saved by the humane society because then it would be sure death and no chance to live. They kill every game rooster with the excuse that they are bred to kill each other. This law endangers too many human lives to protect the rights of a chicken.
Tony Villalobos-Oklahoma farmer

B.L. Cozad Jr
1:18 pm CST
September 01, 2011


Many arrogant animal rights extremists here advocate and support sending law enforcement officers out to make raids, endangering human lives and creating situtation where the law enforcement officers may kill an American over chickens that are simply being harvested by the owner the same way game cocks have been harvested for more than 3,000 years.

Beef cattle are harvested by trauma to the brain, goats are hung by their back feet and their throats are cut, fish are thrown onto a block of ice to suffocate, deer are shot through the lungs to drown in their own blood, dairy cattle are milked, each species has it’s own method of harvest. Even the same species may be genetically bred for it’s own method of harvest such as dairy and beef cattle. The cattleman trying to raise beef cattle for dairy purposes would soon go broke and vice versa.

Gamecocks are the property and “livestock” of the gamecock owner. Gamecocks have been harvested by allowing them to fight for more than 3,000 years and even today are being harvested by cockfighting in countries around the world. Gamecock owners are simply farmers and ranchers and the socially studies conducted by Professors William Capel and Clifton Bryant conclude that the gamecock owners carry the same morals standards that the vast majority of farmers and ranchers involved in any other animal agriculture industry do. Describing cockfighters in their sociology study as “mostly from small towns and the country, more likely to be married, more likely to stay married, to be veterans, to be employed and solid pillars of the community”. Sounds like they’re describing farmers and ranchers to me and in fact that is what cockfighters are “farmers and ranchers” their livestock just happens to be gamecocks.

But animal rights extremists place a far higher value on their arrogant opinion being shoved down cockfighters throats and these mostly rural people being forced into compliance with their opinion even if it means the rural people must be killed over chickens.

The legal precedence this law establishes is exactly this: “it is illegal to own and possess your livestock for the purpose and/or with the intent to harvest your livestock”. Based entirely on the opinion of people that have never been involved in the gamecock harvest industry. Everyone must be subjugated into the opinion of these animal extremists even if it means killing them in police raids.

Of course the animal extremists will get paid as advisors during the raids and then the property (gamecocks) of the livestock owner will be handed over to animal extremists so they can get paid to kill the chickens because these chickens are not used or harvested by any other method of harvest.

All animal agriculture industries and every animal owner should be very troubled by this legal precedence.

B.L. Cozad Jr
1:45 pm CST
September 01, 2011


And Rep Wayne Christian was briefed when he introduced this bill that the passage of this bill into law could result in the death of rural Texas residents (American citizens) over chickens at the hands of our government and after having this explained to him in detail his next action was to have a meeting with several cockfighters at the same exact minute he was sending his office aid around to other legislators to push for the passage of this law.

He was attempting to stall these cockfighters in his office and keep them from educating other legislators of the truth and danger to the lives of gamecock farmers and ranchers this law creates.

But Rep Wayne Christian supports the United Nations Agenda 21 plan (wildlands project) and Maurice Strong (secretary general of the UN and founder of UN Agenda 21) who stated “isn’t it the only hope for the world that the industrialized civilizations collapse, isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about. The affluence of Americans is a threat to the world”.

Yes you read it correctly the UN Secretary General was calling for the UN to cause the collapse of America.

The goal of Agenda 21 = destroy America’s agriculture industries and force Americans into highly dense urban settlements to destroy the self sufficient farming and ranching communities.

Now does REP WAYNE CHRISTIAN really represent TEXAS, the constitution he takes and oath to defend and America or maybe he has sold his alligence to the United Nations and the animal rights extremists self professed goal “to abolish all animal agricluture industries in the US?”

Wgarcia
8:52 pm CST
September 01, 2011


Next thing the HSUS wants is to legalize Beastiality …which is where they are heading

Mr. Childers
11:48 am CST
September 01, 2011


Congratulations to Mr. Biddle and others for voicing their opinion on a very contravertial subject. As a man who has raised and owned gamefowl for over forty years, the misconceptions people have are staggering. First of all, you can’t foce any animal that doesn’t want to into taking his death in a fight. True gamecocks would rather take their death against another than relinquish. Please urban people, do not dispute this as you have no idea what you are talking about. If you have ever studied Darwin’s theory of natural selection, gamefowl are a perfect example. As far as drugging poultry for better performance, a man that chooses to do this runs a great risk of going home with an empty wallet. If you want to see true crueltry go to a packing house where the chickens are crwded together, never get to go outside and are butchered at eight weeks old. A gamecock bred for competition in the pit gets two years of the best posssible care, the best feed and the oppertunity to whoop that other rooster and come back home with you. A broiler in a commercial packing house has NO options. If you were a chicken, which one would you choose to be?

farm chx
12:12 pm CST
September 01, 2011


I think the people who are rambling about stopping the breeding of gamecocks need to be placed in a different planet with no animals around except them; where they will flourish and not have to worry about animals fighting each other for food, survival, reproduction. If you people are so concerned that these gamecocks are born (i’m intentionally using “born” instead of “bred”) to fight, why do you all eat any kind of animals? Those animals that you have eaten or are eating are bred to be killed! For what? Because we are on top of the food chain? Is that it? Then what about those people who raise gamecocks? Does that mean all of them are bad people and need to be punished just by raising gamecocks? Not everyone who raises gamecocks fight their roosters. Does everyone who raises pitbulls fight their pitbulls? Gamecocks are just regular chickens. They are the same as all other animals out there including us. They will protect themselves from harm at all times in any ways they can. In the face of threat, would you just stand there and wait to be killed? or will you fight?

RQ, O
10:54 am CST
September 01, 2011


You might be right about the thousands of roosters being killed in cockfights, but why don’t you all do something about the billions of chickens being slaughtered to feed the public? These chickens to feed the public only live for about 43 days in close captivity and never see sunlight. They are given so many steroids and hormones that some of them can even support their own weight and that I myself think is more cruelty than beign in a cockfight. A gamecock is raised with the best food one can find, they are raised for about 2 years before they are mature enough to fight in the pit and are raised in their own cage with fresh water plenty of sunlight and good food. Those other poor chickens that people slaughter for the public to eat, are raised in a very limited space cage at about 2ft x 2ft and are given too many hormones so they can be slaughtered in 43 days, one more thing is they never get to see the sunlight. These chickens are submerged in hot boiling water while they’re still alive to pluck their feathers off and that is CRUELTY !!! You guys in Texas Insider should really look into that instead. Gameroosters have their own natural instinc to fight, even if you don’t want to fight them, sooner or later there will be a day when they’ll fight till their death if nobody is around to separate them. And how about hunting, you don’t think that’s cruelty??? Sneaking up on and animal just to shoot him dead for sport and to hang him on your trophy wall? I tell you man, you people need to open your eyes and don’t be such racist just because cockfighting is more of a hispanic culture. I’,m not ashamed of being hispanic and this is my number if you have any questions about this. 830-513-9327.

catfish
8:20 am CST
September 01, 2011


Seems like all have forgotten about our rights as americans as long as we are not breaking any laws. The legislators pass laws every day, the people the majority voted into office. Lets do not forget that someone said above there are a lot worse things going on that needs to be dealt with first such as perverts attacking our children,drugs. etc. I can see and agree on points of both sides here. But if the law says no then it means no just like my father taught me when I was little. Lets all use common sense here and if you get caught cockfighting and end up in jail then dont complain take your punishment like everyone else has to do when they get caught breaking the laws after all the legislators that passed this law could be one me and you voted for who knows unless we all go see who voted for or aginst what. We need to be more worried about The Health Care issue that it appears is going to be forced down our throats by our people in Washington after all the ones of us that have jobs and have worked hard all our life will be the ones paying for all this health care while someone that has hardly ever worked or is illegal in this country to start with enjoys what the middle class provides for them whether it be at a cockfight or breaking laws somewhere else.

good guy
11:27 pm CST
September 01, 2011


I think that if anybody actually took the time to research the history and the nature of the gamecock the would be very surprised to see that even our forefathers that come over from Brittan fought chickens. They actually created the American gamefowl bloodlines so theoretically runs throughout our country’s entire history. But then again everybody actually understood the animal at that time.

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