Louisiana is the only state where cockfighting is still legal.
On Thursday, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco signed a ban on cockfighting. Effective August 2008, this law will make it a crime to organize or enter birds in a cockfight. It also closes a loophole in Louisiana’s animal cruelty laws.
Gambling on cockfights was also banned in Louisiana this summer.
Louisiana lawmakers were under pressure to ban cockfighting when New Mexico’s ban went into effect in June. This left Louisiana as the only state that still allowed cockfighting.
Louisiana breeders of the fighting roosters and owners of the cockfighting arenas, known as “pits,” had argued that an immediate ban would be unfair, leaving them with equipment and hundreds of useless birds.
Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the United States, acknowledged in a statement that he wanted the fights banned immediately but said the new law at least set “a short timeline for the demise of this barbaric activity in the state.”