Target: Louisiana Senator J.P. Morrell (D-New Orleans)
Goal: Commend new bill to protect chickens from the cockfighting industry
Recently, Sen. Morrell decided to do something about the minimal regulations on cockfighting in Louisiana, which became the last state to outlaw the so-called ‘sport’ in 2008. Morrell introduced Senate Bill 523 to close the loopholes and beef up penalties for cockfighting in the state, by putting it legally on the same level as dogfighting, and by adding “gamefowl, rooster, or other bird” to the definition of chicken. He also added an entire clause that makes it illegal to own, make, trade, buy, or sell cockfighting paraphernalia, training gear, or chickens intended for training and cockfighting.
One senator, Elbert Guillory (R-Opelousas), stunned the Judiciary Committee by protesting that the law would hurt “chicken boxing,” which he argued was a different sport that used some of the same paraphernalia. According to The Washington Post, Morrell responded, “I have no knowledge whatsoever on chicken boxing so I cannot speak to that…I have never heard of that. It sounds like something to circumvent cockfighting.” The director of animal cruelty policy for the Humane Society of the United States, John Goodwin, confirmed in an email that chicken boxing is merely a front for cockfighting operations. Despite these protestations, the bill made its way through the committee and is headed to the Senate.
By signing this petition, you are thanking Sen. Morrell for his dedication to protecting chickens and all birds from being exploited for human entertainment. You are encouraging him to keep up the fight for SB 523.
Dear Senator Morrell,
Louisiana and its neighbors have provided a home for the illegal and inhumane cockfighting industry for too long, thanks to lax regulation. Your new bill will ensure that efforts to end cockfighting in Louisiana will be taken seriously, with strengthened regulations, heightened penalties, and a clarified definition of “chicken” that will prevent people from taking advantage of previous loopholes.
Thank you for introducing Senate Bill 523 to end the exploitation of chickens and birds in the cockfighting industry in Louisiana. Thank you for persevering despite early opposition. I urge you to continue to fight for the passage of this important bill into law as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gotodie via Wikimedia Commons