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January 19, 2012

Alabama Gamefowl Breeders Association Profiting From Illegal Cockfights

The HSUS asks state Attorney General to shut down trade group

The Humane Society of the United States has filed a complaint with Attorney General Luther Strange’s office requesting that he investigate the Alabama Gamefowl Breeders Association, a front group for active cockfighters that is unlawfully masquerading as a “non profit” under Alabama law. In its complaint, The HSUS documents how the AGBA profits from illegal cockfights and explains how this activity violates the Alabama Nonprofit Corporation Law.

As a registered nonprofit organization, the AGBA is required to comply with Alabama’s Nonprofit Corporation Law, which requires that every nonprofit organization operate for a lawful purpose. The law allows the Attorney General to revoke the nonprofit status of an organization that does not do so. Because, as The HSUS complaint explains, the AGBA does not operate for a lawful purpose, but instead operates to facilitate and benefit from unlawful cockfighting, the Attorney General should revoke its nonprofit status.

“The AGBA essentially acts as a front group for people involved in organized criminal activity and it should be shut down,” said Peter Petersan, director of Animal Protection Litigation for the HSUS. “We have documented that the group raises money at illegal cockfights, including by requiring spectators at fights to become members of the organization.”

During the past year, investigators hired by The HSUS documented an AGBA officer at a cockfighting pit in Chilton County selling membership cards and raising money for the organization’s activities, including paying for a lobbyist in Montgomery who worked to defeat legislation that would have increased the state’s lenient penalties for cockfighting.  

Currently, Alabama has the weakest anti-cockfighting law in the country and carries a maximum fine of $50.  The cockfighting pit in Chilton County was raided by the local sheriff’s department shortly after The HSUS investigation concluded and was previously featured in an expose on Birmingham’s CBS 42.

The HSUS complaint also details AGBA’s link to ongoing cockfighting, including by hosting a fundraiser at an upcoming fight in Citronelle, Ala. on Feb. 11. The Citronelle pit was subject to an expose on Local 15 TV in Mobile.


Media Contact: Katie Jarl, 301-258-1483, kjarl@humanesociety.org

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