Cockfighting: Rodeo and New York Essay

Cockfighting Cockfighting—a blood sport in which two roosters specifically bred for aggressiveness are placed beak to beak in a small ring and encouraged to fight to the death—has been around for centuries. Roosters were first bred for fighting in Southeast Asia more than 3,000 years ago, and cockfighting later spread to Greece, Rome and Britain before crossing the Atlantic about 200 years ago. The brutal “sport” found popularity in North, South and Central Americas, and was particularly prevalent in Colonial New York, Philadelphia and Boston.

By the 1800s, it had spread to the South and West Coast—but by this time, people had begun to realize how cruel it was, and many states banned it. Today, cockfighting is a crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Yet, despite these laws, cockfighting still persists. Don’t roosters naturally fight with each other? In nature, a rooster may fight another rooster over territory or a mate, but these fights are usually brief and don’t involve serious injury. In organized cockfights, however, the roosters’ natural instincts are exaggerated.

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Through breeding, feeding, training, steroids and vitamins, the roosters become killing machines for entertainment. Before a fight, a bird may go through several months of training, which may involve running long obstacle courses and even treadmills, and practice fights with other roosters. Just prior to a fight, most of the bird’s feathers are plucked, and the breeder also cuts off the animal’s wattles—the combs below the beak—so that his opponent cannot tear them off during the fight. Do the birds really wear weapons strapped to their legs?

Yes. In the fighting ring, the roosters often wear knives or artificial gaffs—long, sharp, dagger-like attachments—that transform their natural spurs into knives for maximum injury. These steel blades are sharp enough to puncture a lung, pierce an eye or break bones. The fight is defined by the style of weapon strapped to the birds’ legs, such as a “short-knife” fight, a “long-knife” fight, or a “gaff” fight. A referee is on hand to supervise the fight, which can last anywhere from a few seconds to 15 minutes. While the rules usually o not require one or both birds to die in order for a winner to be declared, death is often the outcome, due to the severity of the injuries. Is there illegal gambling and drugs at cockfights? Besides being cruel to animals, cockfighting is closely connected to other crimes such as gambling, drugs and acts of violence. Illegal weapons have also been found at cockfights because of the large amounts of cash present. Moreover, law enforcement raids across the country have established that cockfights are well attended by gang members, further encouraging venues for violence, illegal drug use and firearms.

Are children allowed to attend cockfights? Despite unsettling facts, cockfights often inspire a party-like atmosphere in which entire families gather, including children. This often leads to concerns that a child will not only become desensitized toward cruelty to animals, but are at risk of becoming injured by the sparring birds or abused by other people. Does cockfighting take place in the U. S.? Although it is illegal, there are still cockfighting rings across the nation. “Cockfighting occurs in all sorts of communities and among all sorts of people,” says ASPCA Special Investigator Mark MacDonald. People can sometimes even buy a box seat, like you would for sports. Bets can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the reputation of the breeder’s birds. ” Officer MacDonald has observed that cockfights in New York City are often a family-run business passed down through generations. Fights may be held in an abandoned factory, a backyard or even a basement. To avoid suspicion, organizers regularly move the events to new locations. “You have to know someone to enter a cockfight,” explains MacDonald. “That’s where the undercover part comes in. As the undercover officer develops a relationship with the organizers and attends the fights, he can use this information to obtain a search warrant. Is cockfighting illegal in the U. S.? Yes, Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states and a felony offense in 35 states and the District of Columbia. The possession of birds for fighting purposes is prohibited in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Is it illegal to be a spectator at a cockfight? If there is illegal gambling and drugs, yes. Being a spectator at a cockfighting event is illegal in 41 states and the District of Columbia—it is a misdemeanor charge.

Is cockfighting a legal industry in other countries? Cockfighting is still popular and prevalent in many other countries, such as France, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Belgium, Spain, Haiti, Italy and Malaysia. Many of these countries have well-established arenas with seats or bleachers for spectators surrounding the ring, similar to a wrestling or boxing area. Numerous fights might be held throughout the day, with attendees betting on which birds will lose. Parents often bring along their children for what is considered a day of fun for the entire family.

Although there is growing opposition in these countries, cockfighting is still highly popular to the majority who see it as part of their culture. About Circus Cruelty The Animals Although the issues regarding circus cruelty have gained much-needed attention in recent years, circus animals still suffer from lives of confinement, social deprivation and violent methods of training. In many circuses, animals are trained through the use of intimidation and physical abuse. Former circus employees have reported seeing animals beaten, whipped and denied food and water, all to force them to learn their routines.

Animals are taught that not obeying the trainer will result in physical abuse. In the United States, no government agency monitors animal training sessions. Traveling from town to town is also inherently stressful for circus animals—they are separated from their social groups and intensively confined or chained for extended periods of time with no access to food, water, and veterinary care. It’s no surprise that many animals suffer psychological effects. Swaying back and forth, head-bobbing and pacing are just some of the stereotypical behaviors associated with mental distress displayed by animals in the circus.

Public Safety Concerns Animals in circuses are also a threat to public safety. There have been hundreds of incidents involving circus animals attacking and escaping—often resulting in property damage, injuries and death. Furthermore there is a risk of disease. Some elephants used in circuses have been found to carry a human strain of tuberculosis, which can be easily passed on to humans. Rodeos Each year, thousands of rodeo events take place across the nation. While often touted as an all-American sport and family event, the rodeo is far from enjoyable for the animals forced to compete.

The ASPCA firmly believes the rodeo is a cruel form of entertainment that involves the painful, stressful and potentially harmful treatment of livestock—not only in performance, but also in handling and transport. Furthermore, the ASPCA is opposed to children’s rodeo events such as goat tying, and calf and sheep riding, which do not promote humane care and respect for animals. Aren’t broncos and bulls wild by nature? No, acting “wild” is just an act! Most rodeo events rely on creating a stressful environment for the domesticated and often very docile animals involved.

Participants often rely on harsh handling practices to make the animals run faster or buck harder—the rougher the animals appear the more thrilling the event is to the audience. Calves may have their tails twisted before leaving the chute, while horses and bulls are forced to wear tight bucking straps that pinch into their highly sensitive abdomen and groin area. Most riders wear metal spurs that dig into the flanks of the animals to further aggravate them. Bulls are frequently given a painful electric shock by a hand-held prod, causing extreme feral behavior.

While some rodeo association rules advise against the use of electric prods and other such cruel handling methods, these guidelines are typically voluntary. Do rodeo animals get injured? Yes. Injuries to animals, including sprains and bruises, broken limbs, ripped tendons, broken necks and even death occur. The worst injuries happen to young animals, such as calves, in roping and wrestling events. How are the animals transported? Rodeo animals suffer the stress of constant travel in overcrowded trucks and trailers. These vehicles are often improperly ventilated, and feeding and watering does not occur regularly.

According to the Professional Cowboys Rodeo Association (PCRA), animals can be confined or transported in vehicles for as long as 24 hours without being properly fed, watered or unloaded. What’s wrong with calf roping? In this event, a four- to five-month-old calf is released from a chute and chased on horseback. The calf can reach speeds approaching thirty miles per hour to escape before being jerked by the neck to an abrupt stop by a lasso. As soon as the calf is lassoed, the rider jumps from the horse, and throws the calf to the ground.

Points are earned if three legs can be tied within 30 seconds of the calf being released from the chute. Since the terrified calf is running at such a high speed when lassoed, the rope often snaps with a force strong enough to yank the calf off his feet and into the air. This action may result in neck injury—at times, death occurs if the neck is broken. What’s wrong with steer wrestling? In this event, a steer is released and chased by two riders. One rider keeps the steer running in a straight line, while the other leaps from his horse, grabbing the steer by the horns.

This rider twists the steer’s neck around until the animal falls to the ground. The contestant has 30 seconds from the time the steer is released to throw him to the ground. Apart from the high stress level the animal endures during this event, the neck of the steer can be seriously injured—ripped tendons, sprains and bruising and even a broken neck can result. What’s wrong with bucking events? In bucking events, the rider’s goal is to stay on the animal for at least eight seconds after being released from the chute. In this event, bucking straps and electric prods are commonly used to motivate the animals into behaving roughly.

Spurs are also used to further aggravate the animal. What’s wrong with steer busting? This is considered one of the deadliest rodeo events and is actually banned in several states. In this event, a steer is released and chased by a rider who ropes him in such a way that the 500 to 600 pound animal flips over in the air and crashes to the ground on his back. The steer is thrown so fast and often slammed with such force that some do not survive. Cite all: http://www. aspca. org/fight-animal-cruelty/animals-in-entertainment. aspx

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