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HomeNewsArchivesCockfighting is Natural, It's the Razor-sharp Spurs That Aren't

Cockfighting is Natural, It's the Razor-sharp Spurs That Aren't

Jan. 31, 2005 – My father, Dr. Richard Bond, was a white California-raised, Yale-educated biologist, who was the director of the United States Department of Agriculture Federal Experiment Station in the mid island area of St. Croix.
Just off the Centerline Road near Estate Love when I was growing up was a saloon, which it was common knowledge was also housing a tolerated cockfighting ring. Some of the members of my black mother's family went there on occasion and one of my father's eccentric relatives Roland Sawyer, who is also family connected with the Nelthropp family, had a coop of fighting cocks at his house in the states.
Not everyone in my Mothers family approved of the sport.
I asked my father what opinion he had of cockfighting. This is what I can still remember, thirty five years later, that he said. Cockfighting is natural. If you have more than one rooster running free range in a yard you can see them fighting a few times a day. Caging them separately, which is the only way to prevent it, could be argued to be cruel as well.
What is unnatural and inhumane is human beings tying razor-sharp spurs onto their legs and forcing them to fight until they kill each other. If he had the power to do so what he would ban was the practice of gaffing but did not feel the same about cockfighting in general. Since that time more states have banned cockfighting. The remaining legal states are parts of New Mexico and Louisiana, possessions Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands also permit it.
A senator from Oklahoma has begun advocacy for a gloved cockfighting exception. The Virgin Islands should act along those lines continuing to keep cockfighting legal in the islands but compassionate to the roosters. Using the cockfighting system that the senator is trying spread would substitute literal contact triggered computerized bells and whistles for blood.
Perhaps the games under the safer system could be hosted by Traxco.
Richard Bond
St. Croix
Boston, Mass.

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