Friday, December 29, 2006

Oh yeah - feel your raging machismo swell as you watch two birds kill eachother.

Legal loopholes let cockfighting flourish in Texas -
Embraced by some as 'cultural thing,' it's often associated with other crimes
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Houston SPCA helps cockfighting raid -->A centuries-old blood sport is bustling in Texas, featuring weekend fights that include gambling, concession stands and even paid parking.
Dozens of cockfighting operations have sprung up in Harris County in recent years to support the illegal trade and they do business with little interference, animal-rights activists say.
Frustrated authorities say they're alarmed by the trend, but can't do much because local and state laws are weak and full of loopholes.
"I'm serious when I say cockfighting is an epidemic not only in Houston, but all over Texas," said Sgt. Mark Timmers, a Harris County Precinct 6 deputy constable who has seen a rise in breeding farms for roosters used in cockfighting.
Some Latinos, he said, admire the macho image of the outlaw cockfighter like a winning boxer.
"People want to be a champion ... we look up to the guy with the pair of ostrich boots and alligator belt; the guy whose rooster just won a hundred Gs on a fight," Chingo said.
Animal-rights activists contend the life of a fighting rooster is far from the cultural romanticism painted by Chingo.
Roosters are shorn of their combs and wattles, fitted with razor blades or ice picks and often injected with steroids or blood-clotting drugs before being forced to fight to the death.
"It's not a quaint pastime; it's a criminal cruel industry,"
said Ann Chynoweth of the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C.


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