“Cockfighting has important cultural significance.” – Congresswoman Bordallo

Animal Wellness Action has released live-animal shipping records from the Guam Department of Agriculture that the group claims show more than 500 illegal shipments of fighting birds to Guam from 2017 to 2019.

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo is opposed to a bill introduced by U.S. Representative Peter Roskam to ban cockfighting on Guam and other territories.

Roskam introduced the Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement or PACE act to extend the animal fighting laws in the states to the U.S. territories. According to a release from the Congressman, the Humane Society of the United States has come out in support of the measure. Its president Wayne Pacelle has called dogfighting and cockfighting “barbaric practices, more widely criminalized than any other form of animal cruelty in the world.” The Congressman also says chickens and dogs are often forced to fight for gambling and entertainment purposes.

“I’m pleased today to introduce the Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act which is to close a loophole. Animal fighting is prohibited in the United States but it’s allowed in some U.S. territories. This is important for us because what we have is a situation where animals are manipulated and drugged and to put in situations where their aggression is heightened and it’s disgusting,” said Roskam.

Congresswoman Bordallo on the other hand released a statement saying, “Cockfighting has important cultural significance and a long history for the people of Guam. I believe regulations on this issue should be enacted at the local level and share concerns that this bill would infringe on local laws and policies. I share concerns that this proposal is an infringement on our culture and will not support it.”