Anti-Cockfighting Forces Win New Mexico & U.S. Congress, Fight Amazon.com
New Mexico made history on March 12, 2007 by becoming the 49th state to make cockfighting a criminal act. After decades of debate in the State Legislature, New Mexicans who supported a ban on cockfighting won the day. The bill for the ban, sponsored by Senator Mary Jane Garcia, passed the New Mexican House of Representatives by a vote of 49 to 20. It then passed the Senate by a vote of 27 to 6. When the law goes into effect on July 1st, Louisiana will be the only state in the U.S. that allows cockfighting. This long, hard battle was waged successfully by Animal Protection Voters of New Mexico.
The U.S. Congress gave final approval to legislation providing felony-level penalties for interstate and foreign animal fighting activities. Prohibited activities include commerce in cockfighting weapons. The original Senate bill, S. 261, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 15, 2007. On April 10th, the U.S. Senate approved by unanimous consent House of Representatives bill, H.R. 137, which the House passed on March 26th by a vote of 368 to 39. The bill awaits President Bush’s signature to become federal law.
Amazon.com is being targeted by activists for its continued sale of two cockfighting magazines, The Gamecock and The Feathered Warrior. According to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which sued Amazon.com and the publishers of these magazines on February 8, 2007 for violating federal law, Amazon.com is the only outlet for cockfighters to buy and sell subscriptions over the Internet. The law being violated is the federal Animal Welfare Act which has a provision banning the interstate shipment of fighting birds. Amazon calls what it’s doing free speech, but HSUS argues that the First Amendment does not protect a company’s right to solicit illegal behavior and peddle contraband. Amazon does not sell magazines that advertise the sale of narcotics, child pornography, or other illegal materials. The same standard should apply to all staged animal fighting publications including cockfighting magazines.
Please tell Amazon you do not support the sale of cockfighting magazines and ask your friends and family to do the same. Tell Amazon you will not buy books or other merchandise from Amazon.com – and mean it! – until the company stops promoting cockfighting and violating federal law. (United Poultry Concerns has made this commitment to boycott Amazon.) Request a written response to your concerns.
Jeffrey P. Bezos, President & CEO
1200 12th Avenue South, Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98144-2734
Phone: 800-201-7575 (press 7 when prompted. This number, though intended for transaction problems like shipping, is the only phone number available). You can also go to the Amazon.com website and try to outwit the website’s obstacles to protest communications.