Statement For Press


Animal Wellness Action Issues Statement About Cockfighting arrests in Polk County, Texas

Organization calls for stronger laws to deter animal fighting and burden on law enforcement

Washington — Today, Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy issued a statement on news that 12 people were arrested and charged with cockfighting by authorities in Polk County, Texas.

Credit: Brandi Grissom

Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an illegal cockfighting operation, and discovered 31 roosters, including some that were dead and buried, likely from previous animal fighting.

Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action, issued the following statement:

“We applaud Polk County Sheriff’s Office for enforcing the state’s anti-cockfighting law. Cockfighting is barbaric and bound up with a wide range of other criminal conduct. When law enforcement breaks up cockfighting rings, they make our communities safer for people and animals.”

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have issued the Fighting Inhumane Gambling and High-Risk Trafficking (FIGHT) Act, and the authors hope to include the provision as an amendment to the Farm bill. Both pieces of legislation were driven by concerns for the barbarism of animal fighting, other criminal behavior comingled with it, and disease threats to poultry posed by transporting fighting roosters.

The FIGHT Act, amending Section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act, would enhance the enforcement opportunities by banning simulcasting and gambling of animal fighting ventures; halting the shipment of mature roosters (chickens only) shipped through the U.S. mail (it is already illegal to ship dogs through the mail); creating a citizen suit provision, after proper notice to federal authorities, to allow private right of action against illegal animal fighters; and enhancing forfeiture provisions to include real property for animal fighting crimes.

Center for a Humane Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help animals by helping forge a more humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @TheHumaneCenter

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News