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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 11, 2022


It was interesting to observe the machinations of the senators who squashed the animal rights bill Thursday, using the absence of penalties for cockfighting as the excuse.
Sen. Norma Pickard-Samuel, in what looked like pure political posturing, said she could not vote for a bill she found "hypocritical" because it didn't outlaw cockfighting.
In other words, no loaf at all was better than three-quarters of a loaf.
We believe a majority of voters strongly supported this bill as written. However, if it is amended to outlaw cockfighting — and we sincerely hope that happens — we are sure the voters will remember the senator’s pledge to vote for it with such a ban.
The problem, of course, is that outlawing cockfighting probably makes the bill less palatable politically. Cockfighting – as cruel and inhumane as it is – is, unfortunately, an institution in this territory.
We can only hope that some sincere anti-cruelty senator will get the bill together again and keep putting it before the Senate until lawmakers vote to take a principled and practical stand against cruelty and violence.
The recent spate of violence in the territory has its roots in an attitude that life has little value.
Maybe if we start with valuing the life of helpless creatures, we can move on to valuing the lives of children and then maybe even adults.
How much more testimony do we need to the fact that abuse of animals is directly tied to abuse of children, women and others before we take a constructive step toward curbing the violence? Sadly, many of our senators are – hypocritically – part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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