WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) issued the following statement yesterday in response to the introduction of a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would outlaw cockfighting in the Marianas and the other non-state areas of the U.S.
“Whether to continue allowing cockfighting in the Marianas is a question best left to our local legislators to answer.
“Federal law already bars the interstate shipment of fighting cocks, which is a legitimate exercise of federal authority. But cockfighting that is strictly confined to the Marianas, [that] stays within our borders and involves no federal interests, should remain a matter for local decisionmakers.
“I want to thank those in the Democratic caucus who consulted with me before deciding whether to cosponsor this bill, especially those who decided not to cosponsor as a result of our discussion. Because I know that animal fighting is hard to defend and understand in other parts of our country.”
“I was able to explain that this is a culturally accepted practice in the Marianas that is best regulated by local law. And, if the bill does move forward in Congress, I will continue to make the case that this is a decision for the Commonwealth Legislature.” (PR)