Territorial Veterinarian Refuses to Sign Import Permits for Fighting Birds

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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.

A Territorial veterinarian refused to sign import permits for fighting birds destined for the Island.

PNC’s Khyomara Santana has more on the story…

Dr. Thomas Pool, a long-serving territorial veterinarian, said in a column published on Sunday that he refused to sign import permits for fighting birds destined for Guam.

Pool has worked as a veterinarian in the Island, both for the U.S. Army and the Guam Department of Agriculture, and says that “The shipment of fighting birds to Guam by global cockfighting traffickers must stop.”

Over the last five years, more than 11,000 fighting birds have been brought into Guam from the states. Since the Island has no commercial poultry or show-bird industry, Dr. Pool says it’s obvious that the movement of these birds has been for illegal cockfighting purposes.

Dr. Pool wrote: “While we have backyard birds on Guam that families raise for eggs or meat, these thousands of fighting roosters are useless for either. There is simply no other rationale for the shipment of very expensive adult roosters to our island but for cockfighting. We know that the people on both ends of these transactions have been involved in the criminal practice of cockfighting.”

Fighting birds shipments amount to illegal contraband under federal law. Perpetrators could face penalties of up to a maximum of five years in prison along with a $250,000 fine.

Reporting for the Pacific News Center, I’m Khyomara Santana.

 

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