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April 6, 2012

The HSUS Commends Officials for Federal Indictments Targeting Cockfighters in Hawaii

Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director for The Humane Society of the United States released the following statement in response to the indictment of five Waianae-based cockfighters, and the seizure of almost half a million dollars, on federal gambling charges.

"We commend the United States Attorney's office in Hawaii for indicting five individuals who appear to have been kingpins in the criminal cockfighting industry that plagues our state. Thankfully the federal laws used to indict these cockfighters include meaningful penalties, unlike our paltry state anti-cockfighting laws."

Hawaii currently ranks 48th in the nation in an annual state rankings poll from The HSUS because its cockfighting laws are among the weakest in the country. Cockfighting goes hand in hand with illegal gambling and other criminal activities such as drugs and illegal firearms distribution, organized crime, and even child endangerment.

While it is encouraging to see federal gambling indictments, state and local law enforcement agencies need stronger laws and provisions to better prosecute this cruel and rampant activity. In addition, local and state policy makers need to implement a zero tolerance stance on this activity beginning with the city and county of Honolulu discontinuing funding for self-professed cockfighters via the county rooster control contract.

The Humane Society of the United States offers rewards of up to $5000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in illegal animal fighting. Contact your local law enforcement agency or call our confidential reward tip line at 1-877-TIP-HSUS.

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Media Contact: Katie Jarl, 713-516-7892, kjarl@humanesociety.org

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