A Republican senator from New Orleans expressed his concern over a bill that would tighten the state’s cockfighting ban, saying that it would shut down the less bloody sport of “chicken boxing”. Surprisingly, this seemingly bizarre discussion took place during an actual session in the Louisiana Senate chambers.
The Senate Committee for Judiciary C discussed Senate Bill 523 on Tuesday morning, upon the initiative of Democrat Sen. J.P. Morrell (New Orleans). The loophole-closing bill, which was sponsored by Morrell, extends the state’s ban on cockfighting to include gamefowl, rooster, and other types of birds. In addition, the bill prohibits the use of cockfighting equipment, including knives and spurs, when paired with evidence showing their use in training fowl to fight. Violators of the law will also be given higher penalties for first and second offenses.
Republican Sen. Elbert Guillory criticized the bill, declaring that it expands the existing law too much. He was worried that the legislation would put a stop to “chicken boxing”, a sport that does not require the use of razors and spurs on the birds.
The 69-year-old senator from Opelousas pointed out that some of the paraphernalia indicated in the bill are used in “the legitimate sport of chicken boxing” such as spur covers made of leather and plastic.
— stoulon (@SimoneToulon) April 2, 2014
— Koran Addo (@KoranAddo) April 1, 2014
Chicken boxing is a thing?
— Megan (@megancmoss) April 1, 2014
Morrell interjected by asking Guillory to elaborate on the sport of chicken boxing. He also implied that it might be a made-up sport created to “circumvent cockfighting”.
@TweettheSouth FYI I was passing a bill to expand a ban of abhorrent animal cruelty. Chicken Boxing was one legislator's diatribe.
— JP Morrell (@JPMorrell) April 1, 2014
According to Guillory, chicken boxing is similar to human boxing in that it is non-fatal. However, other lawmakers present in the session like Republican Sen. Robert Adley (Benton) was puzzled by Guillory’s analogy.
A surprised Morrell claimed that he had never heard of the sport and added that the fact that two birds are made to fight each other is already outlawed by the 2008 cockfighting ban.
Cockfighting is a rural tradition considered illegal in all 50 states, and 40 of them treat the activity as a felony. Louisiana was the last state to officially outlaw rooster fighting.
The Brutality Of Cockfighting (Graphic)
Image via YouTube