There are some practices that still exist in the world that we really can’t help but scratch our heads over and ask: “how does this still exist?!” There are people out there who drain the fluid from bears’ gall bladders for “medicinal purposes,” there are people who believe that drugging tigers solely for the purpose of punching them is a good time, and there are elephants around the world getting ridden to exhaustion while the people in charge call it “tourism.”

Recently, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced that through a collaboration with the FBI they were able to successfully shut down one the largest cockfighting rings in existence. Our first thought, of course, was: “yay, victory!” Our second reaction was: “wait… that’s still a thing?” And sadly, yes, yes it is.

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When HSUS raided the cockfighting arena, they found multiple pits and enough satellite sheds to house more than 1,000 roosters. The parking lot of the Alabama arena was also full when the investigator arrived, with license plates showing that participants traveled from as far as Texas, Louisiana, and Kentucky to partake or watch the blood sport.

As HSUS points out, Alabama has one of the weakest anti-cockfighting laws in the U.S. That being said, they are still a part of the U.S. and subject to federal law, which has stricter animal abuse laws than ever before, much in part to the pressure HSUS has put on law changes. Still, when laws overlap in this manner, it is easier for participants and organizers to slip through the cracks and get away with this cruelty.

This is certainly a victory and will hopefully motivate any other cockfighting rings around the country to stop rolling the dice and shut down before they get caught. However, change will come much faster when states and the federal government start collaborating on animal welfare laws. The weaker the animal welfare laws are in a state, the easier it is for these places to spring up. We will celebrate the fact that no animals will ever suffer in this particular facility ever again. It’s obvious, though, that this vicious blood sport will only come to an end when the government steps in and does it’s part, as it has done in this case.

How You Can Help

  • Familiarize yourself with the issue.
  • Identify the signs of cockfighting – take note if you see any of the tools used in these arenas
  • Sign petitions.
  • Share this article to spread awareness!

We can all do our part to put an end to this lame excuse of a “sport.”

Image source: workretro/Shutterstock