Cockfighting Ban In Costa Rica Upheld After Being Challenged By Cockfighting Breeders Association

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has dismissed a complaint regarding Costa Rica’s ban on cockfighting, a decision hailed as a significant win for animal welfare groups in their fight against animal fighting.

The complaint was presented by the National Association of Cockfighting Breeders in 2017, challenging the prohibition of cock breeding and fighting established in Costa Rican Animal Welfare Law. The Association alleged that cockfighting is a “cultural tradition” and a “human right.”

However, the Commission concluded that banning cockfighting serves a legitimate purpose, which is the protection of the right to a healthy environment and the safeguarding of fauna, and is necessary for the welfare of roosters raised in private venues. The Commission added that prohibiting cockfighting and breeding animals for fighting is a legitimate and proportional restriction.

“This is a great victory, both nationally and regionally, against cruel blood spectacles and sets a historical precedent for other fights against cruel shows involving animals. At HSI, we strongly oppose cockfighting, which results in injury, suffering, and death for the animals who are forced to fight. Such activities amount to animal abuse for entertainment and have no place in modern society,” said Andrea Borel, executive director of Humane Society International/Latin America.

Cockfighting is a cruel and bloody “sport” where two roosters, known as gamecocks, are placed in a ring to fight each other and generally results in the death of one or both birds. The birds are specially bred and trained for aggression. Fights are typically staged for so-called entertainment and gambling purposes.

Birds suffer immensely from the wounds caused by sharp spurs attached to their feet. These spurs can be made of hawksbill sea turtles, intertwining cockfighting with other crimes such as wildlife trafficking. The hawksbill turtle, a critically endangered species protected by national and international laws, is often times the source of these spurs.

Thankfully, cockfighting is illegal in many countries and states around the world due to concerns over animal cruelty and ethical issues. However, it remains legal in many regions, including the Philippines, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and select Mexican states.

It is estimated that tens of millions of birds suffer from cockfighting annually, particularly in regions where it remains prevalent despite legal prohibitions.

We must continue to advocate for legislation that bans cockfighting in order to bring an end to this barbaric “sport” once and for all. By supporting such laws, we can protect animals from cruelty and ensure that this inhumane practice is eradicated globally. It is crucial to work with policymakers, animal rights organizations, and the public to build a strong consensus against cockfighting and promote a more compassionate and ethical treatment of animals.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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