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Off the Wall News - Cockfighting: Just good, wholesome entertainment?

March 3rd, 2014 4:37 pm by Mark Saal, Standard-Examiner

Off the Wall News - Cockfighting: Just good, wholesome entertainment?

Photo courtesy of the Standard-Examiner.

OGDEN, Utah — Cockfighting is just good, wholesome entertainment. Well, either that, or an obscene blood sport involving drugs, prostitutes and gambling. It all depends on whom you ask.

Ask John Goodwin, director of animal cruelty policy for the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States, and he'll tell you it's a cruel practice that ought to be eliminated in a civil society. He was in the state recently to support a bill moving through the Utah Legislature aimed at strengthening cockfighting laws.

"There are a lot of animal issues out there that people can discuss and debate, but cockfighting -- like dogfighting -- is one of those issues where animals suffer and die for something that has no socially redeemable value whatsoever," Goodwin said during a recent visit to the Standard-Examiner. "There really is no logical defense for cockfighting."

Not so fast, say game-fowl enthusiasts, who are beginning to mount a vigorous defense of their beloved sport in the face of growing pressure. One such enthusiast, who asked to be identified only as "Bob from Box Elder County," says the Humane Society is simply using scare tactics to push its agenda.

"We have barbecues, and fight a few roosters," he said. "This ain't cruel, this is competition. Cruelty is not feeding them, not watering them, not housing them, and not using them for what they were intended."

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