Gathering Place
Terry Rosete

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Chicken fighters add
much to the community

This is in response to the Aug. 25 editorial, "State inaction requires federal cockfighting felony." The Hawaii Game Breeders Association opposes any attempt of "federal" intervention to make chicken-fighting in Hawaii a felony. The people of Hawaii are made up of diverse ethnicities and cultures that have engaged in chicken-fight activities since the "Great Mahele."

HGBA has provided an exceptional public service in responding to feral chicken complaints as requested by the public at large, the Hawaiian Humane Society, Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu City Council and state Legislature since 2003. HGBA has trapped more than 800 feral chickens in numerous communities throughout Oahu.

On Oct. 21, 2003, the City Council deferred Bill 47 (restricting roosters from residential zoned areas) until viable solutions in addressing various concerns can be agreed upon with HGBA. Your statement that the "City Council backed away from imposing a ban on roosters in residential areas after a storm of protest by gamecock breeders" is false and blatantly exaggerated!

HGBA communicated with numerous state senators and representatives who were sympathetic to the long cultural traditions of chicken-fighting in various communities throughout the state. Although "felony" bills were introduced annually at the state Legislature, they never passed.

Former state Rep. Eric Hamakawa of the House Judiciary Committee focused his attention to the concerns of HGBA members. HGBA supported Hamakawa's efforts to successfully block proposals to make cockfighting a state felony.

Due to public safety and health concerns, Sandra Kunimoto of the state Department of Agriculture organized a public discussion for preventive methods to address the potential threat of the Asian avarian flu having a catastrophic impact in Hawaii. Participants of this discussion included U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, HGBA and several government agencies.

Steve Nitta of HGBA was delegated to attend and participate in this discussion on Aug. 30. Nitta provided valuable information and shared crucial grassroots knowledge that might prevent or minimize the spread of the Asian avarian flu in Hawaii.

HGBA has always been sincere in its commitment to preserve the cultural activities of its members, and in providing a responsive public service to the people of Hawaii, in a professional and timely manner.

Terry Rosete is president of the Hawaii Game Breeders Association.

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