United Poultry Concerns
3 August 2011
San Diego County CA Moves to Curb Cockfighting;
Board of Supervisors Votes 4-1

“Cockfighting is a sick, cruel blood sport.” - County Supervisor Dianne Jacob

“New Rooster Ordinance Approved by County,” County of San Diego News, Aug. 2, 2011
http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/Portal/News/2011/Aug/080211rooster.html

“County Anti-Cockfighting Measure Advances,” San Diego Union-Tribune, Aug. 2, 2011
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/aug/02/county-anti-cockfighting-measure-advances/

Cockfighting was banned in California in 1939 and is a felony in 39 states. However, in California, the first offence is only a misdemeanor. As a result, cockfighters from surrounding states flock to California to fight roosters.

To curb rampant cockfighting, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 yesterday to limit the number of roosters that may be kept on a given property, and to require that the birds must be kept in humane conditions. These rules will make law enforcement more effective, since officials will only have to show that owners have too many roosters and are therefore breaking the law. Under the new ordinance, a half-acre property could have no more than two roosters at a time and a 5-acre property could have no more than 20.

A final vote is scheduled for September 13. If approved, the new regulations will take effect January 1, 2012. Article 7, “Roosters,” will be added to Chapter 6 of Division 2 of Title 6 of the San Diego County Code Relating to the Keeping of Roosters.

San Diego County resident and UPC staff member Ronnie Steinau testified at yesterday’s meeting in favor of the proposed ordinance:

August 2, 2011

Hi. My name is Ronnie Steinau and I’m from Encinitas. I am representing myself and United Poultry Concerns from Machipongo VA. I support San Diego’s proposed ordinance designed to limit the number of roosters that may be kept on a premises.

The ability to raise or keep roosters with few or no regulations supports illegal cockfighting, whereas the regulation of keeping roosters, including limiting the number of roosters who may be kept at a given time and place, deters illegal cockfighting and protects the public health, safety and welfare.

Cockfighting involves extreme animal cruelty including the use of illegal drugs to induce abnormal aggression in roosters used for fighting.

Cockfighting invariably involves drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and physical violence.

Cockfighting contributes to the delinquency of minors. Children and teenagers are often directly involved in cockfighting operations.

Cockfighting involves keeping roosters on tethers causing abnormal stress in the birds, which contributes to their susceptibility to diseases such as avian influenza and Salmonella which can affect bird health, human health, and the food supply.

People who engage in cockfighting and game fowl breeding keep large numbers of roosters and breeding hens and chicks in unsanitary, crowded conditions.

Roosters who are stressed tend to crow repeatedly during the day causing an ongoing and disturbing noise level for neighbors.

Cockfighters discard unwanted roosters and roosters killed or half dead after a cockfight, creating a filthy, unwholesome and malodorous environment.

For these reasons, I support the proposed ordinance to limit the number of roosters that may be kept on a property at any given time, and I support strict enforcement of all chicken-keeping laws in San Diego County on grounds of human, animal, community, and environmental welfare. Thank you.


What Can I Do?

If you live in San Diego County, please show your support for the ordinance to curb cockfighting by attending the Tuesday September 13th Board of Supervisors meeting at which a final vote will be taken. Location: San Diego County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 310. Time: 9:00am. Phone: 619-531-5751.

You can send a letter to the editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune at letters@uniontrib.com. Fax: 619-260-5081. Include your name, address & phone number.

For more information on cockfighting, see www.upc-online.org/cockfighting.

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