WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Animal Wellness Foundation (AWF) and Animal Wellness Action (AWA) today provided a preview of its 30-second television advertisement to air during Sunday’s Super Bowl on Guam. The ad features two Guamanians of Chamorro descent who describe cockfighting as “about gambling, not about our culture” and ending “the medieval practice of having animals fight and die for our amusement.”
A copy of the ad can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx6XYGaVeUU
The ad will first air during the Super Bowl (Monday morning, Chamorro Time Zone), on FOX 6 and continue broadcasting throughout February on other television programs and networks. Animal Wellness is also running a heavy rotation of radio ads on KSTO, KISH and KTKB also throughout February. The groups previously placed a series of full-page newspaper ads in The Guam Daily Post and Pacific Daily News.
“The ad is a direct appeal to the people of Guam to help us root out cockfighting on the island because it is illegal, inhumane, and bound up with gambling,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action. “We know that the vast majority of citizens on Guam support our position – we just need to activate them so this criminal activity is no longer tolerated.”
The ads highlight that a poll conducted by Market Research & Development on Guam determined that 62 percent of Guamanians favor the federal ban on cockfighting. The television spot also touts the Animal Wellness rewards program – a $2,500 reward for any individual who provides critical information that results in a successful federal prosecution of an individual or set of individuals who violate the federal law against animal fighting.
Recently, AWF and AWA revealed that 137 individuals imported nearly 9,000 fighting birds onto Guam over the last three years. The top 10 importers of fighting animals on Guam received about 60 percent of the nearly 9,000 fighting birds. The top five exporters — working from Oklahoma, California, Hawaii, North Carolina, and Alabama — accounted for 52 percent of all cockfighting roosters sent to Guam.
Mr. Pacelle wrote to Guam Department of Agriculture Director Chelsa Muna-Brecht on two occasions to ask that she establish new protocols to forbid imports of fighting birds masquerading as “brood fowl.”
While the latest upgrade of the federal law forbidding cockfighting on Guam and in other U.S. territories took effect on December 20th, previously enacted provisions of the animal fighting statute starting back to 2002 (with felony provisions adopted in 2007) explicitly outlawed any shipment of fighting animals across state or territorial lines. The federal statute forbids the use of the U.S. Postal Service for these purposes, yet the birds inspected by Guam, according to sources, came through transports conducted through the U.S. mail.
AWF and AWA have set up www.endcockfighting.org as a comprehensive resource about the subject and an action center for citizens who want to help combat these animal cruelty crimes.