The Chamber Joins As Friend Of The Court In The Case For The Prohibition Of Cockfights

The president of the House of Representatives, Carlos “Johnny” Méndez, announced the filing of the legal appeal known as “Friend of the Court”, joining the petition of the plaintiffs requesting to declare the prohibition against cockfighting in the States unconstitutional United.

The Chamber informed on Saturday through a statement that the claim is based on the prohibition violating the sovereignty of the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico in order to regulate local matters that do not affect interstate commerce at all.

According to the 14-page brief, for the purposes of this federal law Puerto Rico has to be treated as a state of the union.

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"We are acting proactively in favor of the rooster industry that many employees generate and have a tradition that dates back centuries. I thank the fellow representatives of the majority for their work in defense of this sector and today we take another affirmative step in that fight, "said Méndez.

The alternate spokesperson for the New Progressive Party (PNP) delegation in the Chamber, Urayoán Hernández, as well as the representatives José González, José Pérez, Michael Abid Quiñonez and Joel Franqui have been leading this initiative for more than a year.

"We have always been up front, fighting to avoid imposing this unjust ban that would affect over 27,000 American citizens directly and tens of thousands more indirectly," said Hernandez.

"We have made countless efforts, including direct visits to congressmen, filing local legislation and even letters to the president of the United States. Today we take another step with the filing of this resource. The House of Representatives of Puerto Rico supports the request for the plaintiffs and we hope to prevail, "he said.

The Gallic Club of Puerto Rico presented in May of this year a legal appeal against the Government of the United States (against the president and the Executive Branch) to, among other aspects, declare the application in Puerto Rico of the national prohibition of Cockfights.

This prohibition came as part of the "Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018", which, among many other aspects, extends to Puerto Rico a prohibition – which previously affected only the US – of cockfights.

Section 12626 of said federal statute is the one that specifically prohibits cockfights in Puerto Rico.

"This sport contributes about 230 million dollars a year to our economy and creates about 27,000 direct and indirect jobs," González said.

Among the measures approved by the Chamber in favor of cockfighting is the Concurrent Resolution of Chamber 79, which expresses the strongest and most categorical rejection of the Legislative Assembly to federal legislation that seeks to prohibit cockfights in Puerto Rico.

In addition, the Concurrent Resolution of Chamber 91 asks Congress to reverse the prohibition of cockfighting on the island and other US territories, proposing as an alternative a five-year transition period for such a ban, among others.

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