Dededo Game Club, Photo Bruce Lloyd
If President Trump signs the just passed multi-billion dollar farm bill, as is likely, legal cockfighting will be a thing of the past in Guam and the CNMI as well as other U.S. territories, bringing them into line with practice on the U.S. mainland.
Outgoing Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo said she gave her best effort to removing the language from the draft of the bill, but she pointed out that in the end, territorial representatives had no vote on a decision that will ban a centuries old cultural tradition in these places.
Guam Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio will also be leaving office soon, but he was reluctant to comment on the cockfighting issue.
"It's very culturally sensitive. I've addressed this before as a senator when I introduced a bill to protect dogs, because I didn't even know they had dog fighting going on at the time. But I decided not to go down the road with the cockfights because it's very much tradition. They've been doing it for hundreds of years on Guam. It's not something a lot of people here on Guam are going to appreciate. There'll be many who do appreciate that, but in the end it comes down to recognizing the heritage that we have in cockfighting, so I think largely that'll be the only comment I'll have, because we have other things that are terrible in our community that we turn a blind eye to, but we're going to make cockfighting illegal. Cocks are killed every day to be kadu."
Tenorio said the dog fighting issue pushed him to act. "The dog fighting was too much for me, because it's not part of our tradition. Cockfighting is, it's been so for centuries. So, the Congress has acted and we'll have to deal with it. It's like other things with the Congress that we disagree with, but the Congress is the Congress. It's the law of the land so we respect it."
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