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January 23, 2012

Christian Leaders Speak Out Against Cockfighting Cruelty

The HSUS commends Dr. Oran Smith and Dr. Richard Land for ground-breaking new video

The Palmetto Family Council

The Palmetto Family Council, based in Columbia, S.C., has released a strong video criticizing cockfighting. The blood sport is widespread in South Carolina because of the weakness of the state’s anti-cockfighting law and consists of roosters fighting to the death while spectators gamble on the outcomes.

The Palmetto Family Council is tackling the issue head-on in a new video that features Dr. Oran Smith, the executive director of Palmetto Family, as well as Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s ethics and religious liberty commission.

Citing scripture and Biblical principles, Smith and Land expose the cruelty of cockfighting as well as the larger societal effects of the illegal blood sport.

Religion and animal protection

“Religious leaders had a founding role in the humane movement in the 19th century, and today in the 21st century, they remind us of our solemn responsibilities to other creatures,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “Their voices can help guide the nation toward better decision-making and behavior when it comes to our treatment of animals.”

“There is no question that the Palmetto State is now the “go-to” location for animal fighting on the Eastern Seaboard,” said Dr. Oran Smith, the executive director of Palmetto Family. “As a matter of state pride, we must strengthen our laws now.”

“Christians should stand up and speak out against this barbaric practice which horrendously abuses God’s creatures” said Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist convention’s ethics and religious liberty commission.

Partners for strong cockfighting laws

Though outlawed in all 50 states, cockfighting remains a misdemeanor in 11, including South Carolina, Alabama and others. Cockfighting can be a lucrative crime, with gambling winnings offsetting even the maximum misdemeanor fines. The HSUS and the Palmetto Family Council are pursuing legislation to make cockfighting a felony in all 50 states to ensure the penalty for breaking the law is stronger than the potential gain.

About our Faith Outreach program

The HSUS Faith Outreach program engages faith communities, leaders, and institutions with animal protection issues, on the premise that religious values call upon us to act in a kind and merciful way towards all creatures.
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