The Humane Society of the United States is trying to get the U.S. House of Representatives to approve Sen. John Ensign’s cockfighting bill.

The measure, Senate Bill 382, actually outlaws all kinds of animal fights, but one of its principal targets is cockfighting, and the Humane Society is using the current “bird flu” scare to try to move Congress to action.

“President Bush and the U.S. Congress should not overlook several steps that they could take now to minimize the chances of an avian influenza pandemic,” said Society president Wayne Pacelle. “Cockfighting, the importation of live birds as pets, live poultry markets, and the unregulated transportation of birds all present unnecessary risks of spreading disease and should be halted.”

The Ensign bill has already passed the Senate and is awaiting House action. It says, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, buy, transport, or deliver, or receive for purposes of transportation, in interstate or foreign commerce, any dog or other animal for purposes of having the dog or other animal participate in an animal fighting venture.”

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Dennis Myers

Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely...