Friday, November 07, 2003

Cockfighters Caught Breaking the Law - Again.

This week the cockfighters, er..."gamefowl breeders" of Oklahoma were caught red-handed using illegal traps to kill protected hawks and owls. The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued citations to 31 of these characters for putting steel-jaw traps on top of poles to catch hawks and owls - something that they all knew was illegal. These, as you may remember, are the folk that told us they were law-abiding, upstanding patriotic Americans that just want to be left alone to care for their chickens - you know, the ones that they don't fight.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service explained that the hawks and owls are trapped by their talons and hang upside down until they die or are killed.

According to the Associated Press, the investigation, which included about a dozen agents who set up surveillance in rural Oklahoma, netted more violators of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act than any other in recent years. Richard McDonald, who oversees Wildlife Service law enforcement in the Southwest, said the investigation revealed "a callous disregard of the law and the birds
it protects."

The really "funny" part is that James Tally, president of the Oklahoma Game Fowl Breeders Association (cockfighters) was quoted as saying "It is a little unfair that you cannot protect your own property," he said. "Some of these roosters are worth as much as calves." Umh... I thought the cockfighters raised their birds just because they loved them. How could a gamecock be worth as much as a calf? Unless of course they fight them for illegal gambling purposes. But surely these nice people wouldn't break the law AND lie to us, would they?

Kudos to the federal agents and the USFWS! Now, judiciary, do your duty and give the offenders jail time and the maximum fine of $15,000. If these destructive meanass lawbreakers can afford dozens or hundreds of chickens that are worth as much as cows then they can afford the penalty.

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