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Cockfighting, related gambling remain serious problem in Hawaii


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POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2009

Question: It was recently reported that former law enforcement officers and even state officials were involved in a cockfighting operation. What will happen to them?

Answer: It is impossible to speculate on how the justice system will respond.

Bust after bust has proved that cockfighting is not merely a small-time gambling operation specific to rural communities. It's a multimillion-dollar, un-taxable industry promoting a bloody and cruel sport that hurts and kills animals.

The Hawaiian Humane Society will continue to appeal to state and county leadership to implement stronger anti-cockfighting laws.

Q: What's it going to take for Hawaii to stamp out cockfighting?

A: It is going to take increased federal pressure on our local leadership to get tough. Federal law that prohibits the transport of cockfighting equipment across state and international lines is helping.

In fact, Hawaii is the first state to bring a case to trial under the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007. The case involved a cockfighter who was nabbed at Honolulu Airport with more than 250 gaffs. He was en route from the Philippines to Louisiana.

The Hawaiian Humane Society continues to work with the Legislature to eliminate this barbaric form of gambling. Cockfighters are a strong coalition, and Hawaii is under increased scrutiny as one of the few remaining states in which animal blood-sport gambling is still a misdemeanor.

The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Indicate “;Pet Ohana”; in the subject line. Or, write “;Pet Ohana,”; Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.