Today’s Really Stupid Law

Here it is:

 A recent raid on a cockfight in Pickens County that resulted in 33 arrests suggests that this barbaric sport is alive and well in west Alabama.

Coincidentally, the raid, which occurred a little over a week ago, comes when a bill is pending in Congress that would make it more difficult to stage animal fights. We urge our elected officials to support the legislation.

Officials who raided the Pickens County operation said a cockfight was in progress in a wooden outdoor pit. There were at least 11 dead roosters and hundreds of live roosters at the site, said Sheriff David Abston.

The suspects were charged with misdemeanor counts of gambling, cockfighting and illegal possession of alcohol. The state penalty for cockfighting is a maximum fine of $50 — not much of a deterrent to the weekend entrepreneurs who make hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in the illicit activity.

The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, pending in Congress, could help curb the cockfights, particularly those like the one in Pickens, which drew participants from east Mississippi.

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis is a co-sponsor of the legislation. Its main feature would increase the penalties for interstate transportation of an animal for a fighting venture from a misdemeanor to a felony. People convicted under the statute could be fined or imprisoned for up to three years or both.

Shame on Artur Davis for putting his name on this ridiculously unnecessary expansion of federal powers.

First of all, why cockfighting is a crime at all is beyond me. Is it something nice? No. Something I would ever do? No. But the only suffering is by a bunch of stupid roosters. And what’s gonna happen to these roosters after Johnny Law busts up the fights? They’ll be killed. So why not let them go out in a blaze of glory? Anyway, I sure hope no-one who opposes cockfighting eats chicken, because what happens to the Colonel’s best prior to the application of his secret recipe of herbs and spices would be called tortuous by even John Yoo.

Second, even granting the criminality of cockfighting, no-way this is a federal issue. How do cockfights in Alabama effect interstate commerce? I want a real answer, not a Wickard v. Filburn answer. 

This is the ultimate example of the unthinking use of the criminal law as a means of social regulation. “Ewww, I don’t like that. Let’s make it a felony.” Crimes ought to be reserved for more serious issues.  

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Explore posts in the same categories: Alabama's Congressmen, Animals

21 Comments on “Today’s Really Stupid Law”

  1. Willie Says:

    I had a philosophy professor tell me many years ago that the only thing that keeps us from being barbarians, are butchers and policemen.

  2. quaoar Says:

    It’s called the Animal Welfare Act. It was passed in 1966 and has been amended numerous times. It prohibits the interstate transport of any animal — stupid rooster or otherwise — for the purpose of engaging in fighting. It is supposed to be enforced by the Agriculture Dept., but enforcement has been spotty to nonexistent over the year, hence the calls to strengthen it.

    http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:tj0oyUVmUKsJ:www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_welfare/content/printable_version/fs_awafighting.pdf+Animal+Welfare+Act+cockfighting&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us

    Excusing cockfighting with the Col. Sanders argument is pretty lame. By that logic, any cruelty is permissible if it is directed toward an animal that anyone eats.

    If cockfighting is OK, then why not pit bulls? They’re just stupid dogs who were only bred for fighting and would be killed otherwise? And why not bring back bear-baiting? I hear that was a ton of fun. Just a bunch of stupid bears.

  3. Wheeler Says:

    “Excusing cockfighting with the Col. Sanders argument is pretty lame.”

    every argument made against cockfighting applies with equal force to the chicken industry. the only difference is that after a cruel life and extremely painful death, the chicken gets fried and eaten.

    “why not pit bulls.”

    perhaps because a dog is different than a rooster. maybe more consious of pain. certainly more intellegent and more sociable with humans. or if not the difference in the animals, maybe the additional danger posed to people by a ninety pound muscular dog trained to kill as opposed to a rooster might be a valid distinction.

    “why not bring back bear-baiting?”

    see the dog issue. also the scarcity of bears as opposed to roosters would be a good reason to eliminate gratuitous killing of bears.

  4. quaoar Says:

    What you are essentially arguing is that because cruelty is permitted on one level (animal slaughter) it should be allowed at all levels. Since the killing of humans by extraordinarily cruel methods is permitted during war why shouldn’t it be permitted in the parking lot of a bar?

    I know all about the treatment of chickens. I grew up on an egg farm in Louisiana. We had 24,000 chickens. They live brief lives (though much longer than fryers) in small cages. Their beaks are clipped so they won’t peck each other to death. It’s a cruel existence. By the time their egg production dropped off they were too old to be fryers (too tough) so they usually became Campbell’s soup. The methods for killing them aren’t any more cruel, however, then for cattle or pigs.

    And they aren’t as stupid as you might think. Twenty-four thousand hens can make quite a noise, it’s a constant roar. But when a hawk flies overhead the entire complex goes silent all at once. It’s quite eerie.

    How do you figure a dog is more conscious of pain than a rooster? What difference does it make, from an ethical standpoint, that a dog is more sociable with humans?

    Yes, a 90-pound pit bull is extremely dangerous. The pressure per square inch exerted from the jaws of a pit bull is greater than that of an alligator. And a pit bull will NOT let go. If a pit bull ever attacks your child, you will have to beat it into a bloody pulp with a baseball bat to force it to let go.

    Wheeler, you have a wonderful blog. I read it just about every day. I even link to it in my blogroll at Daily Kos. But you’re completely wrong on this.

    Cruelty is cruelty and should not be tolerated. Perhaps I am more strident about it because I saw it firsthand on the farm and learned it the hard way, but I don’t think I’m in the minority.

    Cockfighting, BTW, is also against state law in 47 states, including Alabama. Dog fighting is illegal in every state.

  5. wheeler Says:

    “you have a wonderful blog”

    thanks. and you are one of my favorite commentators.

    “Cruelty is cruelty and should not be tolerated.”

    i guess we disagree. i don’t think roosters merit the protection of criminal sanctions. and if they do, and we want to be consistent, then fried chicken ought to be illegal, too. and maybe cattle and pigs as well.

    “Cockfighting, BTW, is also against state law in 47 states, including Alabama. Dog fighting is illegal in every state.”

    which gets to my second point: even if cockfighting ought to be illegal, no-frikin’-way this ought to be a federal crime.

  6. jen Says:

    I completely agree that the way most chickens are raised and slaughtered merits the term cruelty. And, I’m not so sure that it’s that much different than cockfighting. That said, I still believe cockfighting is cruel and should be banned…whether that’s a federal issue is beyond me. Maybe what we, as consumers, should do is be more outspoken about where we buy our chickens. If more Alabamians would buy from people like Charles and Laura Ritch at Goose Pond Farms (http://raisedonpasture.com/), maybe we would see some changes in chicken farming.

  7. Don Says:

    Get thee behind me Satan, and don’t let me post a crude comment about fighting with my cock.


  8. Wheeler, I’m going to have to disagree with you as well. My grandparents had a chicken farm, and as cruel as their existence might be, the end is far more humane. I’d rather die quickly and painlessly (from a decapitation or broken neck) than slowly and painfully (from being beaten, or in this case pecked, to death) for the amusement of others.

    And now, darn you, all this talk of poultry has given me a craving for peking duck, and that’s not on my diet.

  9. publius Says:

    cockfighting is a crime for 2 reasons. Siegelman wants it to be. And, secondly, Hinton Mitchem is related to half the chickens in Alabama. Did any of you see his half wit attempt at a democrat response to Riley’s State of the State? My God, Mitchem should immediately be sent to the state vet lab in auburn to have his dew claws removed and recieve an immediate IV drip of BVH. He is one old dead head inbred wheeler(apologies, maybe to sharon) dealer spent beyond his ego. He must have the goods on somebody to still be around, not unlike a mafia figure.

  10. shal205 Says:

    Here is to all you people who oppose to cockfighting, First of all you need to get some real education, and study the life of gamechickens. I am tired of hearing all these comments about people training and making their roosters fight. Like it or not, these gamechickens are not domesticated animals. When raising them after they become a certain age you have to pen them up, if you dont, they will go to killing each other naturally. So to stop them, would be like trying to make a dolphin walk on land. I’ve seen baby chicks no older than 1 month old start fighting till they killed each other.So like i said, you need to do some research before you judge something.To me, fighting pitt bulls is cruel, they were trained it’s not a natural instinct .

  11. rosterman Says:

    cockfighting is not a cruel sport. Those roosters which are not animals, (FOWL) are taken care of everyday of their lives. On the other hand the chicken you eat in restuarants and out of stores are a different story. want to hear it? let me tell it to you.

    one day one when that little chich(FOWL) is hatched it is given a steriod by a 10 or 12 gauge needle underneath the vent area(for those who dont know what that is, IT IS IT’S BUTT) not only to make it grow.. but to burst the sex organs of the (FOWL) baby chick. From their on out, (if it lives) it has no natural instict to reproduce, be domanant or do nothing but eat, drink and lay around and grow and get FAT! Cruel enough for you yet? if not read on.

    Then around 6 weeks of age that once was chicken is now full grown… any idea of how big a 6 week old chick is? try the size of a quail… Yep thats right!!!
    any way.. its grown now and time to go to the slaughter house.. so your gonna load them up 8 to 12 to a carrier/pen that is fit maybe for 4; might I add stacked on top of one another 10 to 12 pens high. Real ethical there.

    more to follow got to go..

  12. ~Ace~ Says:

    As long as the Almighty has permitted intelligent men, created in his likeness to fight in public and kill each other while the world looks on approvingly, it’s not for me to deprive the chickens of the same privilege.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    Our most Basic right is the right to be left alone.. Anti Rights Activists, your day IS Coming, The people are tired, and when TSHTF, the Tofu Idiots will be the First on the Menu. Nuff Said ~Ace~

  13. Mike Cox Says:

    Last time I checked The Constitution of The United States limits the power of the TYRANIC FEDERAL GOVERMENT!!!!!!! It never gives it Autority to make laws against Cockfighting. If they do they Have violated the constitutional Rights of All Americans.

  14. don Says:

    I’m all for this law. I just think the penalty should be much stiffer. Fighting any animal is just wrong. Not to mention gambling and taking money away from families. There is nothing RIGHT about it.

  15. shal205 Says:

    well don maybe we should make gambling a felony if they dont do it there thell just go to the casinos so whats the big deal about the gambling by the way nobody makes the roosters fight thats just what they do its their nature

  16. shal205 Says:

    As Abraham lincoln once said:

    “As long as the
    Almighty has permitted
    intelligent men, created
    in his likeness to fight in
    public and kill each
    other while the world
    looks on approvingly, it’s
    not for me to deprive
    the chickens of the same
    privilege.”
    Abraham Lincoln

  17. ronald belden Says:

    some people should concentrate on life and every day proplems than cockfighting the world would be a better place

  18. pitbare Says:

    As an American citizen where is our rights about Cockfighting. We dont train our birds they are born to fight. Its ok to Send our boys accross the line to fight but we cant send our roosters accross the line nor anywhere else to fight thats pure BULL. When our men are sent to fight theres a chance the only way we will ever see them is in a coffin. So let the Cockfighters alone. Our troops need to be back on American Soil. I’ve seen lots of death of a human for stupid reasons, I hgave saw stabbings, shootings, overdoses and alot more. I worked for an company that carried bodies from point A to point B. I never picked up an human from an Cockfighting place… All I can say is HEEL EM MEN.

  19. pitbare Says:

    If only known how many folks that are wanting to band cockfighting has ever been to one? Its a sport, we all have our rights to choose the sport we like to attend. America is a FREE COUNTRY. God gave us all life its not for man to judge but for him to. Man not judge me for God above is the only judge. The Government here should worry about the drug dealers, and those women whole sell the soul to the devil to get another fix. THey have all kinds of diesaes that will eventually kill the mankind. Murders are going to jail doing 25 years for killing a soul is that right? like I said cockfighting is just a sport. PITEM


  20. it seems you blog is effective as it is getting a lot of comments. keep this cockfighting support up! cockfighting is an individual liberty and it is unconstitutional to criminalize it. just like abortion, same sex marriage, cousin marriage, hunting, fishing, marijuana (california, it is legal as medical marijuana for now and it will be legal as ‘plain’ marijuana with medical word drop in the near future), human cloning, polygamy.

  21. Jenny Lynn Says:

    Phone number to call and lobby against the game cock bill…..please flood the phones it’s our first step in stopping this bill…..13342427600

    This is the email of the representative backing this bill. Please email him and let him know what he is doing is not what the voters of Alabama want. Remember him when you go to vote Alabama. We need people like him OUT of office. jbarton104@gmail.com

    e-lobbyist.com/gaits/view/291580 This is a website to speak out against this bill. You have to register on the website it only takes a few minutes and the information is private. Please register and comment.

    Please copy and put this in the comments under the above link as your status. Encourage all you friends to do the same. Our power in this is letting representatives like Mr. Barton know we are not going to take this lying down. He wants to stay in office he needs to represent the people who put him there and not his own interest.

    The cock fighting community holds this sport as a long standing heritage within the south. It’s our plea the representatives of Alabama will remember they were voted in to represent the people of Alabama. We are the tax payers and voters. We are asking that those elected officials please take a stand and stop this bill. As a voter and consumer in Alabama I am calling out to all those who oppose this bill to boycott any business, veterinarian, local animal shelter, police department or state representative who either furthers the interest of or gains revenue from this bill. We may not be allowed to vote county by county on this bill but we can remove any funding at a local level for those who support it. Do not put money in the pockets of these people who seek to violate our rights. Do not vote for state representatives who have forgotten who they represent in Alabama. Last but not least do not donate to your local police agencies who will enforce this rediculous legislation. Remember money and time are all these people have to keep things like this pushing forward. We simply do not want this implimented into Alabama law and bypassing the 2/3rd’s vote that is required to amend bills, this Judiciary committe is violating the civil rights of Alabama set forth by the founders of this country.

    To those of you who support this bill, next time you set down to the dinner table and there’s chicken on your plates, just remember these are farm animals and they are slaughtering them by the millions everyday at the processing plants. So do tell, is allowing them to stand breast to breast in filthy chicken houses, in their own fesces on floors so ridden with pest that when one of them dies and hits the floor it is consumed by bugs before the chicken house worker can pick it up, then transporting them to processing plants where they are then shocked in a large vat of water, cut there throats and allowing them to bleed out while they hang upside down from shackles, o yes let us not forget they then hit another large scalding tank so all their feathers will fall off before they are chopped up with knives to remove any tumors and disease that occured because of their poor living conditions and then shipped off happily packaged to the american public. Please tell me how people who put these game birds in individual cages to keep them from killing each other, because they will in fact kill each other if left together and no they will not establish territory and live civil and peaceful lives as the humane society would lead people to believe, is more cruel? These birds are prenned and groomed and fed clean food and water daily. Growers keep hens in with each rooster and the ground is kept clean and they have very good living conditions. Yes they strap weapons on a small amount of the cocks and fight them but is it really any different then what the processing plants are doing. NO, the only difference is you bleeding hearts justify it in your minds because it’s feeding the masses. Please your nothing but a bunch of hypocrits who need a reality check.


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