Many countries around the world have outlawed cockfighting, citing it as a practice that promotes cruelty against animals. The United States passed the Animal Welfare Act Amendment of 1976 that focused on making animal fighting illegal. Despite that, cockfighting continued to thrive and was even legal in several states.
It wasn’t until 2007 that the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act was passed, making animal fighting a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison. In the same year, all 50 states have banned cockfighting. In 2018, an amendment to the Farm Bill was introduced: HR4202, or the Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act.
What Is Hr4202?
The HR4202 or the Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act (PACE) is an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act that is included in the 2018 Farm Bill. The PACE Act extends the federal ban on animal fighting, particularly dogfighting and cockfighting, to U.S. territories in addition to U.S. states.
Cockfighting is practiced in many U.S. territories, with Puerto Rico alone having more than 100 cockfighting arenas and pits, With the PACE Act signed into law, cockfighting is now been banned in American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The PACE Act, however, has been met with much resistance by those who live in the U.S. territories, stating that it tramples not only on their culture but also their livelihood.
Despite the outcry from the U.S. territories, the U.S. Government has no plans to repeal the PACE Act.
The PACE Act is a law intended to strengthen and reduce cockfighting in the U.S. Territories. Numerous individuals living in those regions have tried to fight against the law to no avail. Some have called it a measure that restricts the freedom of those whose lives depend on cockfighting as well as preventing them from practicing an activity tied to their culture.