March 18, 2009
Louisiana Cockfighting Bust
First raid since passage of cockfighting ban
The HSUS assisted in Louisiana's first cockfighting bust. Laura Bevan/The HSUS
Marking the first raid of a cockfighting derby in Louisiana since the state banned cockfighting in 2008, on Saturday Louisiana State Police raided the "Little Bayou Club," an alleged cockfighting operation in Sulphur, La.
During the raid on the massive operation, authorities seized 635 birds as well as cockfighting implements.
The Humane Society of the United States, along with the Calcasieu Parish Department of Animal Services, Calcasieu Parish Department of Public Works and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office assisted the Louisiana State Police, with Saturday's raid.
Cruel and Barbaric
"Cockfighting is a cruel and barbaric practice, and there can be no doubt that every cockfighting enthusiast knows that it's a crime to participate in these staged fights," said Julia Breaux, Louisiana state director for The HSUS.
"We are glad to know that Louisiana's cockfighting law is being enforced and are grateful to the Louisiana State Police for cracking down on this form of animal cruelty," she continued.
Bottom of the Barrel
Although Louisiana finally banned cockfighting last year, making in the 50th state to do so, its law still ranks at the bottom of the barrel in terms of cockfighting penalties. While cockfighting is a felony in 38 states, it is still only a misdemeanor in Louisiana.
As a result, Lousiana acts as a magnet for cockfighters from surrounding states, where cockfighting is a felony. Driving home this point, the majority of cars present at the Louisiana cockfighting derby had license plates from neighboring states.
The HSUS offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. To date, dozens of rewards have been paid out.