More details released about cockfighting survey

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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.

The Animal Wellness Foundation and Animal Wellness Action released more detailed information about what they say is a  comprehensive, statistically valid survey of Guam residents about animal cruelty and cockfighting, with the survey revealing “deep and broad support” for an upgrade of the territory’s anti-cruelty law and for the federal ban on cockfighting. The poll, conducted by Market Research & Development, Inc., sampled 400 Guamanians over a two-week period which concluded on December 12th.

“The survey was based upon a random sampling of adults over the age of 18 on Guam. The probability sample accurately identified the demographic parameters of the island’s population, and the results are representative. There was one exception. The sample has a disproportionate number of older people. We cross-tabulated the age of respondents with their attitudes about cockfighting and discovered that younger people are significantly more likely to oppose cockfighting. Given the fact that the general population opposes cockfighting, we decided not to adjust the results to reflect the under-sampling of younger people. We reported the results without weights, to remove concerns that the information was inappropriately adjusted.”

Here is the wording from key questions directly from the survey:

“On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means ‘not concerned at all’ and 5 means ‘very concerned,’ how concerned are you about how animals are treated on Guam?”
“When was the last time you attended a cockfight?”
“Do you favor or oppose cockfighting?”
“Are you aware that on December 20th, the federal government will ban all cockfighting in the United States, including Guam?”
“Do you favor or oppose the federal ban on cockfighting?”
“Would you be more or less likely to support a senator who opposes cockfighting?”

The results of the poll indicate:

* Nine out of ten Guamanians (89%) are concerned about the mistreatment of animals on Guam.
* About 90% believe animal cruelty laws on Guam should be strengthened.
* Only 7% of Guamanians have been to a cockfight in the last year.
* Only two out of ten (21%) Guamanians favor cockfighting while 60% oppose it.
* More than half (52%) of residents are not aware of the federal ban on cockfighting scheduled to go into effect on December 20.
* When it comes to the federal ban on cockfighting, 61% favor the ban and only 25% oppose it.

CONCERNED

“The polling reveals that Guamanians are concerned about animal cruelty on Guam in overwhelming numbers,” said Jay R. Merrill, President of Market Research & Development, Inc. “Nearly everybody polled wants to see Guam’s animal cruelty laws strengthened. In addition, a solid majority oppose cockfighting and support the federal ban.”

In terms of ethnicity, 62% of Chamorros agreed or strongly agreed that the federal law against cockfighting should be obeyed. Some 65% of Filipinos felt similarly.

Congress upgraded the federal law against animal fighting nearly one year ago, giving cockfighters and law enforcement a one-year grace period before the comprehensive ban takes effect. The measure takes full effect on December 20th, banning animal fighting, possessing animals for fighting, attending cockfights, and other associated activities.

“Every demographic group, including Chamorros and Filipinos, strongly support the federal ban on cockfighting,” noted Wayne Pacelle, founder of Animal Wellness Action, a national organization promoting legal standards against cruelty. “The poll shows that the people of Guam not only disfavor cockfighting, but they favor obeying American law.”

All 50 states ban cockfighting, and the federal government has enacted a comprehensive ban on cockfighting. Within recent weeks, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has advised village mayors not to seek permission for cockfighting events at their festivals, because the activity is forbidden under federal law.

AWF and Animal Wellness Action announced a rewards program to run for an indefinite time that provides a $2,500 reward for any individual who provides critical information that results in a successful federal prosecution of an individual or set of individuals who violate the federal law against animal fighting (7 U.S.C. § 2156). The publicizing of the rewards program will concentrate on the U.S. territories, where cockfighting is explicitly outlawed starting on December 20, 2019. The rewards program is mentioned on the new campaign website, www.endcockfighting.org, which will serve as a comprehensive resource about the issue and call citizens to action to help.

Market Research & Development has been conducting consumer and public opinion research on Guam, the CNMI and Micronesia for more than 30 years. The survey results are based upon 400 random interviews of residents selected through a two-stage random sampling of households, and then a random selection of a respondent living in the household over the age of 18. The survey was conducted via telephone utilizing published landline and mobile phone numbers. The results are accurate to with +/- 5% at the 95% confidence level. (AWA, AWF press release)

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