Louisiana is one of the last states where cockfighting remains legal, but lately its another form of animal fighting — dogs vs. hogs — that has lawmakers looking to amend state law.
The state House in May overwhelmingly passed a ban on so called hog-dog competitions by a 77-24 margin with 4 abstentions. The proposed ban now goes not to the state Senate. The proposed bill reads, in part,
It shall be unlawful for any person to organize or conduct any commercial
or private event wherein there is a display of combat or fighting among one or more
domestic or feral canines and feral or domestic hogs and in which it is intended or
reasonably foreseeable that the canines or hogs would be injured maimed mutilated
Apparently rural hunters use dogs to hunt down and kill feral pigs. They train such dogs by using domesticated hogs and hold competitions for such dogs. Opponents of the bill have tried to cast the dispute as one of urban dwellers failing to understand and denigrating rural culture.
Some of that criticism led to a gaping loophole to be added to the legislation that allows hog-dog competitions to be continued for training purposes,
The provisions of this Section shall not apply to any competitive event in
which canines which are trained for hunting or herding activities are released in an
open area or an enclosed area to locate and corner hogs and in which competitive
points are deducted if a hog is caught and held unless by such actions it is reasonably
foreseeable that the canines or hogs would be injured maimed mutilated or killed.
Proponents of the legislation say it is needed because local prosecutors simply won’t bring hog-dog competitions to court under existing animal cruelty statues, but are they really going to be excited to bring cases that will rest on whether or not a jury can be convinced that such a competition was or was not for training purposes? Color me skeptical.
The full text of the proposed bill can be read here.
Friends, foes spell out hog-dog positions. Chris Frink, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), May 12, 2004.
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