By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Members of the U.S. Congress are seeking a crackdown on interstate shipment of roosters from the U.S. mainland to Guam through the U.S. mail.
Citing the result of an investigation by the Animal Wellness Action (AWA) and the Animal Wellness Foundation (AWF), congressional members wrote to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service informing the agency that more than 10,000 roosters were shipped to Guam from 2017 – 2021, the vast majority of them male birds were destined for fighting pits.
The letter, led by Reps. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services & General Government and Nancy Mace, a ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee, was signed by 36 members of the House including 24 Democrats and 12 Republicans.
“We need to stop the shipment of animals, for fighting purposes, via the U.S. Post Service,” Mace said. “This barbaric and cruel practice needs further investigation and those responsible need to be held accountable. I urge the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to work more aggressively to interdict illegal trafficking of fighting animals through U.S. mail.”
“The U.S. has banned any interstate or foreign transport of animals for fighting purposes for nearly 20 years, yet the problem still persists. We must take action to better enforce our laws and end this immoral practice,” Quigley said. “With evidence pointing to the U.S. mail as the primary means of transport for these animals—it is past 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.”
Cockfighting has been banned everywhere in the United States since December 2019, yet shipments of fighting animals to Guam and to all other parts of the United States have been outlawed since 2002.
The letter comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari from political leaders in Puerto Rico seeking relief from a federal law that bans cockfighting throughout the United States. The federal law against animal fighting has been consistently upheld by the U.S. courts., including by the District Court on Guam.
“It is shocking to place live animals in a box with no food or water and send them on a long, multi-flight journey – in some cases an 8000-mile journey from North Carolina to Guam – to end up in a cockfight,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action. “We are not sure what’s worse – the flight or the fight.”