PETITION TARGETS: House Agriculture and House Oversight and Accountability Committees, Hawaiian Legislators
Roosters forced to fight to the death often endure punctured lungs, broken bones, and slashed eyes as they bleed out in front of people seeking profit from their pain.
Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 US states. But new investigations reveal it’s still happening here and that people also are still buying and selling fighting breeds with just a few clicks from online platforms, according to the New York Times.
H.R. 2742, also known as the Fighting Inhumane Gambling and High Risk Trafficking (FIGHT) Act, seeks to increase protections for roosters by amending the Animal Welfare Act to ban simulcasts and gambling on animal fighting, halt the shipment of roosters through U.S. mail, and also allow law enforcement to seize property used in animal fighting crimes.
In addition to the extreme suffering roosters endure when they’re strapped with blades, forced into a pit, and expected to fight to the death, cockfighting has known human health risks — with increased risk of zoonotic disease transfer with the close handling of bloody and dying birds.
Other crimes also happen around cockfighting gatherings, including murders, drug dealing, and illegal gambling and weapons sales, according to news.
Hawaii is just one state that’s a tragic example of why these strengthened protections are needed. Authorities have conducted at least 10 raids into illegal cockfighting rings since 2018, and at recent cockfights — attended by hundreds of people — two people were shot to death, and officers seized unregistered guns along with dozens of dead birds.
Law enforcement needs every possible avenue to hold animal abusers maximally accountable. It’s time to strengthen protection for these sentient birds by prioritizing and passing this bill.
Speak up for roosters today by signing our petition in support of the FIGHT Act! We’re also asking Hawaiian legislators to increase cockfighting’s classification from a misdemeanor to a felony crime, as 42 other states have done.