On the list of recipients of imported gamefowl on Guam was Santa Rita Mayor Dale Alvarez who now says cockfighting is against federal law and that as an elected public official he will abide by it.
“Oh, no more, it’s against the law,” Alvarez said when asked if he still engages in cockfighting. “I already gave away and sold my breeds. It hurts, I’m a cockfighter, but I’m not going to break the law,” Alvarez said.
Unlike Puerto Rico, Guam’s cockers have not publicly decided to defy the federal ban, but concerns still grow that the hobby will move underground and illegal venues.
“There’s a big battle between the locals and those trying to enforce it,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez has ceased all practices of cockfighting since the federal ban took effect on Dec. 20 and maintains he will continue to do so. But those who don’t may not be lucky enough to walk away under their own terms.
According to nearly 2,500 pages of avian shipping records formally obtained by the Animal Wellness Foundation as well as PNC from Guam’s Department of Agriculture, cockfighters from the U.S. mainland made more than 500 illegal transports of fighting birds to customers here on island.
The records reveal the illegal trafficking of nearly 9,000 birds to Guam alone in a 33-month period, translating into an illegal shipment, on average, of every other day.
Records and data obtained by PNC from the Guam Department of Agriculture constitute the second batch of incriminating evidence revealed by the AWF and AWA.
This coming after the AWA conducted a rigorous analysis of 2,431 pages of live-animal shipping records that were reviewed by the group.
The findings revealed more than 500 illegal shipments of fighting roosters to Guam alone.
Nearly all of the birds shipped as “brood fowl” were males. In a standard agricultural operation receiving birds for production, the ratios would be inverted, with more females used for breeding and egg production.
This skewed ratio favoring the males is another tell-tale sign that the trade was conducted for cockfighting. PNC hopes to follow up with the Guam Department of Agriculture in the coming days.