By Matt Lasley firstname.lastname@example.org
February 22, 2014
Local State Representative Candidate Craig Davis adamantly defended the “right” to cockfight to U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell at a meet-and-greet in London, KY on Monday, Feb. 17.
In an interview with The Grayson County News-Gazette, Davis, who is president of the United Gamefowl Breeders Association (UGBA) and raises gamefowl himself, said he attended the meet-and-greet on “four hours notice…to speak on behalf of the people of Eastern Kentucky.”
Davis said he was asked by Eastern Kentucky cockfighting enthusiasts to speak to McConnell on their behalf regarding the recently signed into legislation Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill, a section of which makes it a federal misdemeanour to attend any kind of animal fight, including a cockfight.
“I went there to speak on the Constitution, and Civil Rights, and States’ Rights,” Davis said.
He argued that gamefowl breeders and cockfighters rely on the income that gamefowl produces for them, and he feels it is not the place of the federal government to “come in and prosecute” individuals for participating in their “culture and rural heritage.”
“These people didn’t ask for this fight,” Davis said. “All they want is to be left alone…and to do what is a God-given right to them.”
Davis said the amendments making attending cockfights illegal is an example of the federal government’s “messed up” priorities.
“We’re voting in laws to kill unborn children and defending chickens,” he said.
Davis said a fighting gamefowl is “no different than a Tyson’s [one of the world’s largest marketers and processors of chicken, beef, and pork] chicken.”
Davis also said he can sway 40-60,000 votes in the state of Kentucky against McConnell should the Senator not rescind his support of the Farm Bill.
While Davis does not personally enter the gamefowl he raises in cockfights, he said they are sold for up to $1,500 to be used in fights. He added the “only actual purpose” to raise gamefowl is to fight.
Davis said the Bible supports the practice of cockfighting, as well, citing the passage giving humans the right to grow crops for their use.
“The Bible says man has dominion over all animals,” he added.
Davis reiterated that whether he or the Federal Government agrees or disagrees with the practice of cockfighting should not determine whether an individual has the right to take part in it.
“It’s not for me to place judgment on anyone,” he said. “It’s only for God to place judgment.”
Davis also said that prior to their being made illegal, he attended cockfights in Louisiana and the Phillipines; however, after it became illegal in LA, he “never went back.”
Sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in a fight was already a federal crime, but under Section 12308 of the Farm Bill, amendments were added to make attending a cockfight or any other type of animal fight a federal misdemeanour, as well.
The text of the Farm Bill section on animal fights reads as follows:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to (A) knowingly attend an animal fighting venture; or (B) knowingly cause an individual who has not attained the age of 16 to attend an animal fighting venture.”
The Farm Bill states that anyone who attends an animal fight “shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both, for each violation.”
In addition, the bill states that anyone who causes an individual under the age of 16 to attend an animal fight “shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than three years, or both, for each violation.”