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    Wednesday, June 19, 2019-5:50:00P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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US Congress extends cockfighting ban to territories

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The U.S. Congress overnight gave final approval to a measure that extends the long-standing federal ban on cockfighting to Guam, and all other U.S. territories.

The bill is now headed to the White House where President Donald Trump is expected to sign it.

The ban is included in the PACE Act which was one of many amendments attached to the massive farm bill. The act bans both cockfighting and dog fighting in American Samoa, the CNMI, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands as well as Guam.

"It is unconscionable that this bill imposes a federal ban on cockfighting in the territories without the consent of our local governments," said Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo in a statement issued following the vote.

She said her colleagues from the other territories joined her in opposing "this provision because it ignored the will of our constituents and established local laws in our jurisdictions."

"We worked diligently to try and defeat this provision," said Bordallo, "including successfully defeating the provision in the Senate bill."

She said the territorial delegates also offered to work with the House sponsor in order to exempt the territories from the cockfighting ban, but "our offers were not reciprocated," she said.

Guam Gov.-elect Lou Leon Guerrero has also issued a statement saying she is "deeply disappointed that the United States Congress has once again disrespected our local rights and cultural practices by including a ban on cockfighting."

Leon Guerrero said "cockfighting has historical significance on Guam" and "despite our community’s collective efforts in expressing clear opposition to such a ban...we were once again ignored."

Leon Guerrero is in Washington D.C. and is scheduled to meet President Trump at the White House along with the other newly elected state and territorial governors.