PIGEON SHOOTING, COCKFIGHTING, AND GREYHOUND RACING

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1999:

The Hegins pigeon shoot and
Omak Suicide Race each drew about 5,000
people just to watch animals get hurt and heckle
protesters, suggest attendance figures from
the village events they were part of. The
Hegins Labor Day festival in recent years drew
about 10,000 people; only 5,000 came this
year, the first since 1935 that pigeons were
not shot. The Omak Stampede rodeo drew up
to 22,000 people; just over 17,000 came this
year, the first since 1936 that horses were not
galloped down a steep embankment into the
Okanogan River. Even without the Suicide
Race, however, the Stampede still included
traditional rodeo events featuring violent treatment
of animals. Hegins without the pigeon
shoot apparently had no violent attraction.


The Oklahoma Coalition Against
C o c k f i g h t i n g on September 12 started a 90-
day drive to collect the 69,888 valid voter signatures
it needs to place an initiative making
cockfighting a felony on the November 2000
state ballot. Oklahoma, Louisiana, and North
Carolina are the only states where cockfighting
is still legal, though the laws are rarely
enforced in several other states. OCAC chair
Janet Halliburton, an Oklahoma Bureau of
I n v e s t i g a t i o n staff attorney, was sued for
defamation three days earlier by the
Oklahoma Gamefowl Breeders Association
and two individual cock breeders, after reportedly
stating that cockfighters are often
involved in drug dealing, prostitution, and
other violent crimes. Investigating similar
claims and counterclaims, ANIMAL PEOPLE
in March 1999 summarized half a dozen
recent cockfighting-related cases involving
seven murders, 13 attempted murders, and at
least 12 persons suspected of involvement in
drug dealing. The first person charged under
the Arizona cockfighting ban passed by voters
in November 1998 was Catarino Perez, 38,
who was arrested on August 17, three months
after police reportedly seized more than 50
cocks, cockfighting paraphernalia, and a stash
of steroids from property Perez owns.
Massachusetts Citizens Against
Dog Racing “recently joined with a new coalition
called Grey 2K,” says MaCADR founder
Greta Marsh, “and soon will be collecting
signatures to bring a ballot initiative [to ban
dog racing] before the voters of Massachusetts
in November 2000.”

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