The people of Guam and Puerto Rico are increasingly speaking up against cockfighting in their territories, as the new federal law banning animal fighting everywhere in the U.S. takes effect on December 20th. In today’s podcast episode of The Political Animal, host Joseph Grove talks again with Wayne Pacelle and Marty Irby about recent events, but then they move the discussion toward the drama playing out in the territories and whether the rule of law will be enforced. Joe also invited attorney and animal advocate Ana Maria Hernandez, from San Juan, to lay out her case against cockfighting and why Puerto Rico should obey the law.
At the same time, the debate has reached a fever pitch in Guam, where AWA and the Animal Wellness Foundation released a survey this week revealing that 62 percent of Guamanians support the federal law against cockfighting — a number that has startled the political class on Guam. Surveys in both Guam and Puerto Rico show opposition to cockfighting, despite near unanimous support for the cockfighters among political leaders on the island. That is a familiar disconnect that played out in Oklahoma and Louisiana, before a concerted campaign finally overcame the stubborn opposition of political leaders there.
On Guam, the Cockfight License Board disbanded earlier this year, and the Governor has instructed village mayors not to seek cockfighting permit at their festivals. On today’s Podcast, we get these issues and more, and hear a powerful local voice who is calling out cockfighting cruelty.
We hope you’ll also listen to Episode 2: 2019 Shark finning, horseracing, and the PACT Act, which also includes a layered discussion of how the committee process works and why it’s so difficult to even get a common sense measure into law. And if you missed our first episode, you can listen to Episode 1: 2019 Victories for Animals, by clicking here.
Wayne Pacelle is the founder of Animal Wellness Action, president of the Center for a Humane Economy, and former president of the Humane Society of the U.S. who conceived the idea of the PACT Act. He founded the Humane Society Legislative Fund and prior to that, he was executive director of The Fund for Animals. The Non-Profit Times named him seven times as one of the nation’s top 50 non-profit executives, and in 2005, he was named executive of the year. Pacelle is a two-time New York Times bestselling author of The Bond, and Humane Economy.
Joseph Grove is a freelance writer and six-time recipient of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. His background also includes hosting a radio show called Jargon on WQMF FM in Louisville, Ky., and podcasts for Bisig Impact Group and Southern Gaming and Destinations. He began dedicating his volunteer time to animal issues in 2014 and currently works as a court-appointed special advocate for children in family court in Shelby and Spencer Counties in Kentucky