NM bans cockfighting

New Mexico has outlawed cockfighting–from the ABQ Tribune:

Gov. Bill Richardson signed a measure today that outlaws cockfighting in New Mexico, leaving Louisiana as the only state where the centuries-old bloodsport remains legal.

State Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, a Doña Ana Democrat who has introduced legislation to ban cockfighting over the past 18 years, thanked Richardson, who until this legislative session had declined to take a stance on the issue. The prohibition takes effect June 15.

“Today, New Mexico joins 48 other states in affirming that the deliberate killing of animals for entertainment and profit is no longer acceptable,” said Garcia.

Richardson signed the bill at a ceremony at the state Capitol in Santa Fe.

Cockfighting fans have accused Richardson of taking a sudden interest in cockfighting now that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president. They also defend cockfighting as a family activity and said opponents were meddling.

“I’m so upset that it’s damn near ruining my life,” said Ronald Barron, president of the New Mexico Game Fowl Association. “I’ve got 38 years doing this. I don’t know if I should hatch off some baby chicks right now. This isn’t a business. It’s my pleasure. It’s my right, or rather it was my right.”

Richardson signs ban on cockfighting : Local State Government : Albuquerque Tribune

You might not know this, but cockfighting still has many fans, and is very popular in many states. You’ve got to wonder what made the legislature pass the bill in the first place, Richardson’s presidential aspirations aside.

At least they haven’t brought bear-baiting back.