SEN. Rory Respicio has asked for clarification on whether the recently passed federal farm bill would prohibit cockfighting on Guam.
In a letter sent to Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, the senator asked whether the federal farm bill directly attacks local cockfighting enterprises that are legally licensed under Guam law.
The final bill approved by both houses of Congress incorporates a provision “making it a federal crime to attend or bring a child under the age of 16 to an animal fighting event” including cockfighting.
The bill is now on its way to President Obama.
Respicio, in his letter to Bordallo, noted that the sport of cockfighting on the island has deep cultural roots.
"Cockfighting on Guam is a regulated enterprise that has substantial support from our people. It would be a continued travesty if our community was yet again subjected to this mandate from a Congress we have no vote in. Indeed, it would be another example constituting unwarranted federal interference in local affairs," Respicio wrote.
The senator added that it is unclear if the proposed federal mandate would apply to Guam, hence his request for Bordallo to clarify the new farm bill's impact, if any, on Guam’s cockfighting industry.