Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cockfighting and Louisiana: Editorial Tells the Story of Corrupt Lawmakers Who Surprisingly Want to Protect this Disgusting Practice

Yep, believe it or not, some people actually support cockfighting. Even worse, they tend to be those who have the power.


EDITORIAL: Outlaw an outrage


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Cockfighting is an ugly blot on this state's image, and Louisiana doesn't need any baggage that makes us look backward and especially not barbaric while we're trying to convince the rest of the country that our storm-battered state is worth saving.

Unfortunately, lawmakers who want to get rid of this violent holdover from the past are running into the same entrenched support that has protected cockfighting from previous efforts to outlaw it.

Sen. Art Lentini's bill to outlaw cockfighting should have been assigned to Senate Judiciary C Committee, the committee that deals with matters of criminal law. Instead, it was sent to the Senate Agriculture Committee, the same legislative slaughterhouse that has killed previous efforts to outlaw cockfighting. A similar effort on the House side has already been defeated in the House Agriculture Committee.

Sen. Mike Smith said the Agriculture Committee, which he chairs, deals with farm matters and animal regulation. But according to that logic, Sen. Lentini said, a bill to increase the penalties for cultivating marijuana would have to go through Agriculture.

Unfortunately, logic and sense don't matter to lawmakers intent on protecting cockfighting. Sen. Smith sounded more like a cockfighting apologist than a champion of agriculture. "We kill 500,000 chickens a day in Louisiana," he said. "At least the chickens in this bill have a fighting chance."

That's an absurd argument. There's not a state in this country that bans eating chicken. But there are only two states where it's legal to watch roosters hack one another to death for amusement: New Mexico and Louisiana.

Most people here can't stomach cockfighting. A poll sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States found that 82 percent of Louisiana residents want cockfighting banned.

That's not surprising. Louisianians don't want their state to be defined by a brutal diversion that most other states banned in the 19th century. It's time for the Legislature to ban it here, too.

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