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Hawaii resolution would lend credence to cockfighting

March 30, 2010 |  2:26 pm


HONOLULU — Illegal cockfighting would be recognized for its cultural merits under a resolution advancing in the Hawaii Legislature.

The House Tourism, Culture and International Affairs Committee passed the resolution Monday on a 4-2 vote, sending it to the House Judiciary Committee. The resolution doesn't have the force of law and wouldn't legalize cockfighting, which is prohibited in all 50 states.

But supporters say it would recognize cockfighting's long history in Hawaii and among Filipino migrants who cherish it. They also say cockfighting is widespread on the islands, and legitimizing it could boost the economy.

Animal rights groups oppose the measure, saying cockfighting is a cruel blood sport.

Before passing the resolution, representatives amended it to include a line saying they don't support gambling or gaffs -- sharp knives tied to game birds' legs.

-- Associated Press

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Photo: A cockfighter holds a rooster at a gamefowl farm in New Mexico in 2007. Credit: Jake Schoellkopf / Associated Press

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