“It’s three a.m. and I am at a cockfight. What am I clinging to?”
That quote from the television situation comedy “Seinfeld” forever cemented into the minds of Americans, somewhat describes the cultural norm on chicken fighting in the United States. Plain and simple, we see it as inhumane, and the practice was outlawed many years ago.
But not in the rest of the world, and now a lawsuit in an American territory has the Federal government pitted against the locals.
Puerto Rico Chief of staff Ricardo Llerandi said in a statement the territorial government had joined the lawsuit filed by the Club Gallístico de Puerto Rico against the federal government in a San Juan federal court.
“We have made the determination to sign on as friends of the court in this suit. We do not favor this prohibition that would affect families who live on the economy surrounding this sector in Puerto Rico. We have been and we will be beside the cockfighters in support of this sport,” said Llerandi in a statement.
Cockfighting is a premier sport in Puerto Rico, with entire industries built around it.
Fights take place all over the island, from small venues in rural areas to San Juan’s stadium-like Coliseo Isla Verde.
So, not only does the Puerto Rican government let hurricane relief supplies rot on the docks rather than distribute them to those in need, but they waste chickens on a blood sport.
Think about that.
How this came to the forefront of the news is the Farm Bill signed by President Trump in December.
The Farm Bill signed in December by President Trump included a ban on cockfighting in all U.S. territories that’s scheduled to take effect next December.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R) actively lobbied Congress against the ban, but were not successful in removing the language from the Farm Bill.
The ban was included as part of anti-animal cruelty provisions long sought by animal rights activists on the mainland.
Yes, it is nanny state at its finest, but in this case, animal lovers would be hard pressed to have an argument against the ban.