Nov 22, 2013 11:02 PM by Erin Steuber

Cockfighting Law Being Challenged

A Ville Platte man is ruffling feathers, questioning the constitutionality of a ban on cockfighting. Louisiana was the last state to ban the fights back in 2008. But specifically, the law bans fighting between chickens, and that's where the challenge comes in.

The man is challenging the language, and is asking why the law should apply to roosters. The case went to the Attorney General's office, which just issued its opinion. It's good news for the chickens, but not for the Ville Platte man. But no matter what, he thinks he has a fighting chance.

A warning, some might find video in this report disturbing.

Jim Demoruelle enjoyed cockfights for 53 years, up until it was outlawed 5 years ago.

"You know cockfighting is labeled as cruel. It is not cruel. I will never believe that it's cruel, and most of the people that claim that have never seen the first cockfight," said Demoruelle.

Cockfighting is when two roosters face off, often to the death, with small blades, or pick-like gaffs, attached to their legs. Sometimes they fight with their natural spurs.

"The chicken is an athlete. He has to be treated like an athlete. That means a consistent diet of good food," said Demoruelle. "You can't abuse a gamecock and expect him to perform when he's called on to fight."

He challenges that the law only applies to chickens, not roosters. But the Attorney General's opinion is that no matter how you split feathers, a rooster is a chicken. But Demoruelle believes the decision violates an earlier law.

"The Right to Farm Act protects modern, and tradition farming methods," said Demoruelle. "gamecocks we harvest by fighting, like you harvest a thoroughbred by running it on the racetrack."

And while he doesn't own any chickens now, he is adamant about getting a license.

"If I get a license it is legal, than I will have chickens. I don't think I deserve the right, I demand the right and that's a big difference," said Demoruelle. "I'm not begging. I'm not asking permission. I'm telling you what I'm going to do."

Demoruelle hopes the Attorney General will revisit the opinion. If the decision is not reversed, he plans on pursuing legal action against the state.



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