FUENTE: READING EAGLE
24 / JULIO / 2009
Berks County, PA –
The appeal of cockfighting, experts say, is gambling and entertainment. Fights are typically held in an arena, where spectators may bet thousands of dollars on the outcome.
“It’s an incredibly easy way to make money,” said Dylan Heckart, the Humane Society of Berks County’s field services coordinator. “Fighting these birds can bring in a whole lot of money there’s a whole lot of illegal gambling that goes on.”
Roosters, by their very nature, often fight to establish a pecking order – but this type of battle rarely results in injury, Heckart said. Only birds specifically trained and provoked will engage in the serious battles that define cockfighting.
“Roosters have a natural inclination to protect the flock, and what cockfighters do is work that inclination so they’re inspired to fight at the drop of a hat,” said Miriam Jones, co-founder of Eastern Shore Sanctuary in Vermont.
“Everybody is a threat,” he said, “and what would be just a regular dominance thing turns into a fight to the death.”
Cockfighting is illegal in the United States, but still permitted in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. In 2008, Louisiana became the last U.S. state to ban the blood sport.
In Pennsylvania, cockfighting is a felony offense that can lead to a maximum of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Spectators at cockfights can also be charged with a third-degree felony, as can those who possess birds with the intent of fighting.