The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office has declared that, for the purposes of the 2008 statute banning cockfighting, a fighting rooster is technically a chicken.
The anti-cockfighting statute defines a “chicken” as “any bird which is of the species Gallus gallus, whether domestic or feral.”
An Assistant District Attorney in Evangeline Parish, J. Gregory Vidrine, wrote a letter to the Attorney General’s Office on behalf of “interested parties” who wanted to circumvent that ban by fighting birds of a species other than Gallus gallus.
The parties on whose behalf Vidrine petitioned the Attorney General’s Office are led by long-time cockfighting advocate Jim Demourelle. They claim that so long as the fighting birds they employ belong to a subspecies other than Gallus gallus, the statute would not apply to them.
The Attorney General’s Office concluded, in no uncertain terms, that “[f]rom a genetic and morphological standpoint, there is, currently, no way for a ‘chicken’ not to be a member of the proscribed G. gallus genus and species.”
For his part, Demourelle says he will continue his attempt to skirt the cockfighting ban. The Attorney General’s Office’s decision “totally sidestepped the question I asked,” he told The Morning Advocate.
“My argument is that, first of all, game chickens are private property,” and “[t]hat law clearly violates your right to use your property.”
[“Chickens On Traditional Free Range Poultry Farm” on Shutterstock]