I want to thank Alana Mawson for her continuing demands that the VI Senate bring the territory into 21st century civilization by banning all forms of animal-fighting. From a family who’s been part of VI history for 12 generations, she knows and testifies that blood-sports have never been a part of her islands’ culture; that cock-fighting was brought here from other islands; and that by allowing it to exist legally, the USVI Senate is pandering to a "low-life minority."
She reminds us that animal-fights generate brutality and barbarism among spectators, especially the young and uninformed. Social services and law enforcers know that animal-fights are linked causitively to the torment and abuse of weaker beings: wives, children and elders. And we all know that animal-fights rake in huge, illicit, untaxed gambling profits and are enmeshed with the sale of guns and drugs.
So why are we looking the other way?
Especially now when Federal laws make it illegal to attend cock-fights.
The US Humane Society writes: "The newly enacted Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which was included in the final 2014 Farm Bill, makes it a federal felony to knowingly bring a minor under the age of 16 to a dogfight or cockfight, punishable by up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and a federal misdemeanor to knowingly attend a fight as a spectator, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. The HSUS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office… praise these upgrades, which provide law enforcement with additional tools to put an end to organized dogfighting and cockfighting."
Along with Ms. Mawson and other strong-minded advocates, we must demand that the VI Senate bring our Anti-Cruelty Bill into step with federal law. We can’t allow ourselves to be ruled by the worst of our community. Sincerely,
Paula Myles, St. John
Put an End to Cockfighting
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