French court con­firms cockfighting law

Lesotho Times - - International -

PARIS — France’s top court has ruled that a law aimed at end­ing cockfighting in France is con­sti­tu­tional, re­ject­ing an ap­peal by sup­port­ers of the tra­di­tion.

The Con­sti­tu­tional Coun­cil con­firmed on Fri­day the ban on the cre­ation of new cockfighting rings — called cock­pits.

The law, dat­ing back to 1964, aims to grad­u­ally get rid of all cock­pits and there­fore, cockfighting.

It was re­cently chal­lenged by two French cit­i­zens who wanted to open a new ring in the French is­land of Re­union.

Cockfighting is le­gal only in re­gions where it’s con­sid­ered a deeply-rooted tra­di­tion, es­pe­cially in north­ern France and the French ter­ri­to­ries Re­union, French Guyana, and French An­tilles.

Oth­er­wise, it is con­sid­ered an­i­mal cru­elty and is pun­ish­able by up to two years im­pris­on­ment and a fine of $33 000.

The prac­tice con­sists in two roost­ers fight­ing against each other and is of­ten end­ing in the death of one of the com­bat­ants.

Cockfighting fans ar­gue that the law is un­fair, draw­ing a par­al­lel to bull­fight­ing.

Bull­fight­ing is le­gal in south­west­ern France, where the tra­di­tion is still gath­er­ing huge crowds, and the con­struc­tion of new are­nas to prac­tice it is not banned.

Both prac­tices are sharply crit­i­cized by an­i­mal pro­tec­tion move­ments.

In its de­ci­sion, the Con­sti­tu­tional Coun­cil said that cockfighting and bull­fight­ing are “dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions.”

Cockfighting is a com­mon prac­tice in South­east Asia and parts of Latin Amer­ica, but is illegal in most Western coun­tries. — AP

Cockfighting is le­gal only in re­gions where it’s con­sid­ered as a deeply-rooted tra­di­tion, es­pe­cially in north­ern France.

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