cockfight An industry has been built around cockfights, proponents argue.

Cockfight supporters demand legalization

Advocates in Veracruz claim the blood sport supports half a million families

Organizers of cockfights protested yesterday outside the Veracruz state Congress, demanding that the recently approved Animal Protection Law be modified to allow the practice to continue.

It was five months ago that the law was modified, effectively banning the activity in the state.

But according to gamecock breeder Marisa Chapa, cockfights have always been a regulated and taxpaying activity. Not only that, but there are “500,000 families whose livelihoods depend” on them, she told the newspaper El Universal, adding that Veracruz has the largest number of gamecock breeders and cockfight promoters in the country.

“We ask for the authorities’ help to keep cockfighting within the legal framework,” she said.

The protesters said a complete industry is built around the blood sport, including laboratories and specialized food and weaponry factories.

They added that a gallero, a gamecock breeder, earns from 5,000 to 10,000 pesos a month raising the birds.

Chapa stated that while some roosters die in the fights their average life expectancy is two years, and that they are provided a good quality of life by their owners.

The breeder justified legalization of the practice on the grounds that violence is part of the birds’ nature, quoting a study carried out by the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

“It’s their nature; we do not force them to fight and there’s no cruelty involved. That’s why [roosters] are isolated at six months old, because otherwise they would kill each other.”

Chapa warned that if state legislators don’t reverse their decision to include cockfighting in the Animal Protection Law, they will force the activity to carry on illegally because “there’s no way they’re stopping it.”

Breeders and organizers are currently protected from prosecution for their ongoing activities after they obtained an amparo, or legal protection.

Two week ago, state deputies belonging to the National Action Party presented a modification to the law under which cockfights, bullfights and other similar activities would be excluded from the Animal Protection Law.

Source: El Universal (sp), Veracruzanos (sp)

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