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Cruel Sports And How They Effect Animals 'The referee shouts, 'Ready, pit!' The birds explode from their handlers' grasps and collide breast to breast, a foot off the ground. Beak grabbing beak, hackles flaring like porcupine quills, they bounce apart and then collide, again and again. The hatch takes command. The roundhead rolls over, then revives. He pounds the Hatch with a foot, spearing a lung. The Hatch fades, hunkering down and refusing to budge.
As he coughs up drops of blood, his breathing sounds like footsteps on gravel. The Roundhead, fatigued but intact, wins. The Hatch is carried off, most likely to die' (Kilborn 3). This is just one account of a cruel animal sport like cockfighting. This is a epidemic that needs to be stopped. Too many animals are killed for the illegal profit of a few.
In today's advanced society there are still humans who thrive on the killing of defenseless animals. Some people do this for the fun and the sport, while others do it as a way to make a living. The three animals that are most commonly abused are cocks, bulls and dogs. These animals fight against other animals and humans. Usually these fights go to the death. The term cruel sports is most often used to describe these fights. Cruel animal sports can be defined as an arranged fight between two animals or an animal and a human for the fun and or profit of the people involved.
In most cases these fights are illegal. Although with the amount of money to be won through illegal betting the risks are usually overlooked. Especially because of the lack of law enforcement that is delegated to cases like this. Stronger legislation needs to be adopted to completely stop cruel sports that abuse animals. There are two forms of cockfighting. Naked heel fighting is the less deadly of the two. Whereas artificial heel fighting is a lot more inhumane. Metal spurs of up to three inches are placed over the cocks natural spurs to cause a devastating effect to the other bird.
These metal spurs can puncture a heart or a lung with one kick. When the birds fight with metal spurs the fights are for the most part quick and to the death. There is no need to provoke the birds once their in the ring. It is a natural instinct for them to fight over territory. Game cocks are fed special diets which usually include steroids to improve muscle mass and aggression. Clubs, magazines, instructional videos, cockfighting classes and newsletters are dedicated to this sport and its survival. 'More than half the 170 pages of the May issue of Gamecock, a 62 year-old monthly magazine that claims 16,000 subscribers, are advertisements intended for cock fighters' (Kilborn 1).
The game cock industry is a multi-million dollar money maker even without the gambling aspect. In the United States cockfighting is still legal. In the states of Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico it is not against the law to attend or even fight cocks, while in major cities and backyards across the world cockfights take place everyday illegally. This industry is very lucrative with big money to be made in many different ways. There are people who are masters in their own specific areas. Breeders and trainers can make thousands of dollars raising a champion bird. Breeding fighting cocks is not illegal so there are breeders across the United States. These breeders sell there birds over seas where cockfighting is a lot more prevalent.
There are also people who deal solely with the distribution of food and artificial spurs for the fighting cocks. 'Anthony Torres, a special agent with the humane law enforcement division of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals helped bust Jerry's Pet Store of NYC, that stored 93 fighting cocks in its basement, and sold hypodermic needles, steroids and antibiotics - items used to strengthen birds' (Santiago 2). In New York if you are caught participating in animal fights, you can receive a five thousand dollar fine and up to a year in jail. The problem is that not enough agents are cracking down on this sort of thing. Torres goes on to state, 'We don't have the resources or the street intelligence to put animal fighters out of business. We know where the places are, but little effort is placed on busting them(Santiago 2)'.
We need to adopt legislation in this country to stop the insensible killing of these animals. Cockfighting is based around illegal betting, and if betting was not involved there would be no one fighting these animals. There would be no purpose in it. The outcome would be a lot of money spent on raising and training these birds just to die. 'A man died of a heart attack in a cockfight over the loss of three hundred dollars' (Baynes 3). Is it really worth the loss of hundreds of dollars and maybe your life to watch two animals kill each other? This is a sport fueled by corrupt and illegitimate breeders and trainers who are in it not for culture or tradition but money. The people who participate in these fights are bookies who break the law and kill defenseless animals.
The Oklahoma Coalition Against Cockfighting is one of the top organizations in the fight to stop this horrible sport. They have collected over 100,000 signatures to help stop this cruel sport. They are also pushing for longer jail terms and higher fines to those who break the law. 'On Capitol hill, more than 180 house members and more than 40 senators are sponsoring bills to prohibit the interstate shipment of fighting cocks' (Kilborn 2). If bills where passed in this country to prohibit cockfighting in all the states some people would lose a source of income. If cockfighting was a wrong thing to do why is it that all the states except three have banned this sport? Those people who do raise these birds would be out some money, but the money they make is all illegitimate.
These fights are based around illegal gambling that pays for the birds and products. Breeders and suppliers would still have the option to sell the birds and supplies to foreign countries. The welfare of thousands of animals is more important than a couple of criminals making extra money exploiting these animals. Not only in the United States but across the world animals are being tortured. Mexico and France are the capitals for bullfighting in today's world. In Mexico thousands of bullfights take place yearly. The first bullfight in France took place in 1701, and the first arena was built in Paris in 1889.
There are over forty towns that regularly hold bullfights in France today. Tourists make up most of the crowd for these bullfights. More than 90% of spectators at these bullfights are American and Canadian. The matador and the bull are usually the only two animals in the ring for the fight. As a matador tries to stab the bull with a sword the bull charges a piece of cloth the matador holds. The object is to kill the bull by piercing its heart with the sword.
Very rarely is a bull killed on the first couple of tries. Most often bulls die from the great amount of blood loss that comes with being stabbed repeatedly. What 'sport' is involved in torturing innocent bull's by stabbing them with swords. What chance does a bull have? He doesn't get a sword. 'Fifty thousand residents in twelve states of the Mexican Union were asked eight questions about the ethics of torturing and killing animals for amusement. A startling 87% answered in opposition to bullfights' (Bullfighting 1).
Over the last couple of years there has been a 40% loss in net income for bullfight arenas in Mexico. Pepsi a major distributor pulled all of its advertising out of bull arenas in December of 1999. This shows how mainstream society looks down upon the killing of animals for sport. Mexico and France should stop supporting bullfights through government funding and outlaw them throughout there respective states. Tax payers money could be saved on the maintenance of bull rings and put to better use through ....
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