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El Paso Times

It's not a 'sport' Cruel pastime should be banned in U.S.

Cockfighting, which can be considered a sport only by the most calloused and cruel of people, is, unbelievably, still permitted in New Mexico and Louisiana.

Animal advocates are trying to change that, and they deserve solid support that will ban this blatant example of cruelty to animals once and for all -- from every state in the union.

There's already some good news on that front. Part of the federal farm bill that will take effect in May prohibits interstate shipment of fighting birds and the export of fighting animals.

Wayne Pacelle, a senior vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, said, "Dogfighting and cockfighting are gruesome and barbaric activities that should receive no protection under the law.

This legislation will put real teeth into the federal animal fighting law and, if enacted, will go a long way toward wiping out these dreadful industries."

There are those who will try to defend the indefensible, but their arguments ring hollow and cold-hearted.

Ronnie Barron, president of the New Mexico Game Breeders Association, said the sport provides New Mexico with about $60 million a year. Even if true, $60 million earned by the spilled blood of helpless animals is nothing to be proud of or sought after. And it's certainly no excuse to keep the "sport" alive.

And Pacelle noted that there is no cultural reason to raise roosters to fight.

It's high time to end the brutal, inhumane pastime that may sate the blood lust of a few people but is in the end merely dehumanizing and abhorrent.