Cockbreeders may lose Honolulu contract to control feral chickens & noisy roosters
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2011:
HONOLULU--New Honolulu mayor and former city prosecutor Peter
Carlisle is expected to end a city contract which since 2005 has paid
cockbreeders Pat and Jose Royos of Royos Farm in the Waiahole Valley
$480,000 to field complaints about feral chickens and roosters
Pat and Jose Royos, with fellow cock breeders Bernie and Joe
Panoncial, began trapping feral chickens in 2005, wrote Honolulu
Advertiser staff writer Eloise Agular, after city council hearings
on a 2003 bill to ban roosters from Pearl City to Hawai’i Kai. The
Hawaiian Humane Society had stopped responding to complaints about
feral chickens, instead providing traps and instructions on how to
use them, Agular explained.
“Members of the Hawaii Game Breeders Association urged the
council to hold off on the ban and to allow them to educate rooster
owners,” Agular wrote. “That’s when Pat Royos and Bernie Panoncial
stepped in and offered their services.” Pat Royos is the longtime
first vice president of the Hawaii Game Breeders Association.
After catching 733 chickens in 18 months, claiming expenses
of $40,000, Royos and Panoncial sought compensation. The
$60,000-a-year contract became controversial in 2008, when the
Hawaiian Humane Society objected to it. “The Royos family raises
about 100 fighting roosters and brood fowl per year whom they ship to
Guam and Saipan,” reported Associated Press.
“We cannot mix the feral chickens with the ones on our farm
or crossbreed because they are not game chickens,” Pat Royos told
Associated Press. “The majority of the wild roosters that are
captured are given to families to eat,” Pat Royos said.
The contract remained in effect, wrote Humane Society
Legislative Fund president Mike Markarian, “despite the fact that
cockfighting is a crime in Hawaii, a felony in 39 other states, and
it is a federal felony to possess or transport birds for fighting.
These same city contractors,” Markarian continued, “are leaders of
the Hawaii state affiliate of a cockfighting front group called the
United Gamefowl Breeders Association, and led [unsuccessful] efforts
in 2010 to introduce a bill to recognize cockfighting as a cultural
activity. Now these same individuals have been profiled,” Markarian
said, “in the newest issue of Pit Games, a glossy cockfighting
magazine published in the Philippines.
“It’s the same thing as hiring dogfighters to run an animal
shelter or handle loose dog complaints. It’s analogous to asking a
pedophile to oversee a child daycare center,” Humane Society of the
U.S. senior law enforcement specialist Eric Sakach told Tim Sakahara
“Pat Royos says she was told to hold off on submitting a
renewal bid for the contract,” reported Sakahara on October 31,
2011. “Instead the city may go in another direction.” The contract
expires at year’s end.