(The Center Square) – An Illinois congressman is calling on the US Postal Service to crack down on illegal animal fight mailings.
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, was joined by three dozen other members of Congress in an effort to bust the cockfighting rings.
Animal Wellness Action has conducted a series of surveys and documented thousands of fighting roosters shipped in boxes through the US Mail each year for fighting purposes.
“They were talking very clearly and openly about cockfighting,” executive director Marty Irby said. “Very proud of their fighting chickens, talking about their lineage, their value and why they were selling these birds.”
The organization’s latest investigation led them to Guam, but the cockfighting on American soil also continues.
Two men from Belvidere, Illinois were arrested last summer following a two-week cockfighting investigation. Police said they seized more than 100 chickens, training pieces, logbooks and medicine.
Nearly 2,000 people, some carrying birds, marched toward the Capitol building in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after President Donald Trump signed a bill banning cockfighting in US territories.
Activists also note that cockfighting poses a threat to human health and safety, given the blood sport’s role in spreading Newcastle disease and bird flu.
“The United States has banned all interstate or foreign transportation of animals for combat purposes for nearly 20 years, but the problem still persists,” Quigley said. “It’s time for the USPS to treat the illegal shipment of animal combatants as a top priority and work to end it once and for all.”