Cockfighting ban comes into effect this week

Guam’s cockfighting ban comes into effect on Friday, bringing down the curtain on a gruesome but decades-old Guamanian custom.

According to a recently-released Animal Wellness Foundation and Animal Wellness Action survey, however, public opinion is ready for the move. It found that only 7 percent of Guamanians have been to a cockfight in the last year, and only 21 percent believe that they should continue.

This stands against 60 percent of those surveyed who support the federal ban on cockfighting.

When the ban takes effect, those who sponsor or exhibit birds in a cockfight face a fine and a maximum prison term of five years. Attending a cockfight will be punishable by a fine and up to one year in prison

Moreover, the Animal Wellness Foundation and Animal Wellness Action have announced that they will be offering a standing US$2,500 reward for any individual who provides information that results in a successful federal prosecution of those who violate the ban.

Among other things, some commentators believe that cockfight betting has been a venue for money laundering in Guam.

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