Who will enforce the cockfighting ban?

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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.
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Another cockfight is scheduled to take place Saturday night at the dome in Dededo.

It may be the last legal cockfight on island as the federal ban on cockfighting goes into effect one week from today.

However, it’s not yet clear who is going to enforce the ban.

Guam lawmakers have made it clear that enforcing the ban on cockfighting will be GovGuam’s lowest priority.

When asked who would enforce the ban that takes effect next week, a one-line release from the Guam Attorney General’s office today said “because there is no local basis for criminal action,” if they receive any complaints, they will be forwarded to federal law enforcement authorities.

The Guam Attorney General did not say which federal law enforcement authority would be responsible.

PNC called the local FBI office and we were referred to the Honolulu FBI office where spokesman Jason White advised that the FBI would not be responsible for enforcement. He advised that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would be responsible.

Calls made to the USDA went unanswered.

This week, the Animal Wellness Foundation and Animal Wellness Action released topline polling data from a comprehensive, statistically valid survey of Guam residents which revealed broad and deep opposition to cockfighting and other forms of animal cruelty.

According to the survey, 90 percent of Guamanians want to see territorial anti-cruelty law passed, while 61 percent back the federal ban on cockfighting.

The foundation earlier scheduled an interview with K57’s Andrea Pellacani, but instead decided to cancel.

Late this afternoon, U.S. Attorney Shawn Anderson issued a statement saying Congress has effectively criminalized every aspect of the animal fighting industry nationwide.

“Beyond criminal enforcement of this new provision, our office may also seek civil forfeiture of any property involved in or facilitating such an offense. The public should know that our office will make every effort to pursue violations of this statute within the available resources of the Department of Justice,” Anderson said.

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