Col. Tom Pool, a veterinarian who served in the US Army Veterinary Command, has slammed Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt for his video that showed support for the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission.
Pool, who is also a hunter and a rancher, says that he has long been a Stitt fan but his tribute to the members of the Gamefowl Commission had been jarring.
Numerous animal rights groups have called out the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission for being a cockfighting organization masquerading as a group of gamefowl farmers and livestock producers.
In a statement, Pool said that animal agriculture is a noble enterprise, while cockfighting is a disgrace and a crime.
“Cockfighting bears no resemblance to animal agriculture. There are no standards of care, there is no proper utilization of the animals, and there is no service or value to the American consumer. Animal abuse is built into the marrow of cockfighting, and mutilation of animals is its very purpose,” he said.
He calls out Stitt for describing members of the Commission as “gamefowl farmers,” citing that the members of the commission do not breed chickens for egg or poultry but breed them for fighting instead.
Pool says that in the last 5 years of his 17-year territorial veterinarian stint in Guam, he saw that the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture did nothing to stop the illegal shipment of 12,000 fighting birds to Guam, with nearly half of the number coming from cockfighting operations in southeast Oklahoma.
“Cockfighting bears no resemblance to animal agriculture. There are no standards of care, there is no proper utilization of the animals, and there is no service or value to the American consumer. Animal abuse is built into the marrow of cockfighting, and mutilation of animals is its very purpose,” he stated.
Pool also cited that the district leader of the Commission, along with six other men, was charged with facilitating a cockfight in Carter County.
Pool, who also works as a senior veterinarian at Animal Wellness Action (AWA), said that he and AWA will continue to provide details to law enforcement and continue their involvement in stopping the illegal trafficking of fighting animals.
He adds, “I hope that it was the case that our governor was not discerning and got misled by this crowd. And I do hope the statement from his press spokesperson that he opposes cockfighting and any efforts to weaken the state’s voter-approved anti-cockfighting law is authentic.”