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Louisiana Lawmakers Debate Cockfighting and Legitimate “Chicken Boxing”

Al Bello, Getty Images

Although cockfighting is technically illegal in Louisiana, the law remains difficult to enforce due to how it is written. However, Senator JP Morrell says he intends to clarify the law, so the state can finally end the debate between what is considered legitimate “chicken boxing” and brutal cockfights.

As it stands, Louisiana cockfighting laws only use the word “chicken” to define what is prohibited from being forced to fight. Morrell’s bill broadens the scope of that definition by including any type of foul. The measure also strives to ban cockfighting paraphernalia like knives and spurs when it can be proved these items were associated with training fighting chickens.

“The rest of the world looks at our state and what we do when we encourage things that are widely viewed as barbaric or backwards behavior,” said Morrell.

However, surprisingly, the bill was met with some opposition. Senator Elbert Guillory says the bill is too strict for Louisiana and would put an end to “legitimate sports of chicken boxing” that regularly occur in his district. Yet, Morrell says anyone who forces chickens or any other bird to fight deserves to be criminally prosecuted.

Others that opposed the bill, like 53-year-old veteran cockfighter James Demorulle, said he loves the sport and does not feel it is inhumane because chickens will not fight unless they want to fight. “God put the fight in the chicken, not man, he said… whatever the hell that means.

The measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration. In the meantime, place your bets!

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