Louisiana last state to ban cockfighting

Aug. 15, 2008 at 4:19 PM   |   Comments

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Cockfighting is a felony in Louisiana -- as of Friday -- leaving a dying breed to contemplate their "heritage" and what comes next.

Louisiana is the last state in the union to outlaw the notorious blood sport. Cockfight aficionados argue that the new law will merely drive the sport underground, like dogfighting rings, The Washington Post says.

Many old-timers feel they are being mistreated by people who don't understand what this means.

"It's my heritage," says one who boasts of being a cockfighter for more than 40 years and proud of it -- and "as lost as a bat" about what what to do.

"Religion and cockfighting built this country," says another. And another, "We ain't barbaric and we ain't hurting nobody."

Animal advocacy organizations applaud the closing of the final legal venue in the United States for a blood sport they consider as cruel and barbaric.

"It has been a monumental struggle involving lots of people and very many protests, economics, twists and turns," says anesthesiologist James Riopelle who helped lead the fight against the fighters.

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