At a time when some states are adopting animal protection laws that prevent it, cockfighting is getting a boost in Tlaxcala.
The state Congress last week took an opposing stance by declaring the sport an intangible cultural heritage.
The declaration was approved by a majority of the state’s 25 lawmakers, earning strong criticism from an animal rights organization.
A representative of Animal Welfare Tlaxcala (Bienestar Animal Tlaxcala said the decision to legitimize cockfighting in such a manner was a knee-jerk reaction by the state’s political players to capture votes in any way possible.
State voters will elect new a new president, federal deputies, senators and all 25 members of Congress.
The animal rights activist, who wished to remain anonymous, said the cultural heritage declaration means that breeding of the birds is now protected while the abuse and death of the animals for the enjoyment of humans is endorsed.
He said the non-governmental organization is not in favor of banning bloodsports such as cockfighting, but wants to see stronger regulations that protect the animals from the abuse to which they are currently subjected.
Speaking for the bill, Deputy Fredy Cuatecontzi Cuahutle said there was agreement among congressional committees that cockfighting was an old tradition in the state, passed on from generation to generation.
He noted that some other states — Puebla, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas and México — have already applied cultural heritage designations to cockfights.