By KEVIN BESSLER
The Center square
(The Center Square) – An Illinois congressman is calling on the U.S. Postal Service to crack down on illegal animal fighting shipments.
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, has been joined by three dozen other members of Congress in an effort to bust up cockfighting rings.
Animal Wellness Action conducted a series of investigations and documented thousands of fighting roosters annually shipped in boxes through the U.S. mail for fighting purposes.
“They were very clearly and blatantly openly talking about cockfighting,” said executive director Marty Irby. “Very proud of their fighting chickens, talking about their bloodline, and how valuable they were and what they were selling these birds for.”
The organization’s latest investigation led them to Guam, but cockfighting on U.S. soil continues as well.
Two men from Belvidere, Illinois, were arrested last summer following a two-week-long investigation of cockfighting. Police said they seized more than 100 chickens, training pieces, logbooks and medications.
Nearly 2,000 people, some bearing birds, marched to the Capitol building in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after President Donald Trump signed a bill banning cockfighting in U.S. territories.
Activists also note that cockfighting is a health and human safety threat, given the role of this blood sport in spreading Newcastle disease and Avian Influenza.“The U.S. has banned any interstate or foreign transport of animals for fighting purposes for nearly 20 years, yet the problem still persists,” Rep. Quigley said. “It is time for the USPS to treat the illegal shipment of fighting animals as a high priority and work to end this once and for all.”