Press Conference Feb 21, 2023: Online event detailing new footage, information on illegal cockfighting in KY

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LOUISVILLE, KY, UNITED STATES, February 20, 2023 / -- WHAT
Zoom Press Conference with spokespeople from Animal Wellness Action and Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK). They will reveal the latest details of investigations into an established network of illegal cockfighting pit-operators and breeders in Kentucky, with recent footage of illegal fights, children attending the fights, and possible police corruption.

SHARK will release footage from inside a fighting pit and also drone footage at several recent cockfights in Kentucky.

The organizations will note that cockfighting threatens to extend the duration and geographic reach of the bird flu outbreak in Kentucky and across 47 other states and also highlight the importance of new national legislation to crack down on dogfighting and cockfighting. Footage will be provided to news outlets only.

• Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action
• Steve Hindi, president, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK)
• Jim Keen, D.V.M., Ph.D., Director of Veterinary Science, Center for a Humane Economy

1:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 21, 2023


Meeting ID: 814 3639 3027
Passcode: 817174
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SHARK has acted on anonymous tips within the last month and secure drone footage and inside-the-pit footage of cockfighting derbies at three separate locations across Kentucky. SHARK and Animal Wellness Action are deeply concerned that law enforcement is standing aside and allowing these illegal fights to proceed—even after they have been alerted to these planned animal fighting ventures.

In March 2022, FBI agents handed down indictments against 13 alleged cockfighters in Kentucky and identified fighting operations in Pike, Clay, and Laurel Counties, with SHARK providing crucial evidence of illegal fighting venues. It appears that local police stood aside and allowed these fights to proceed.

In August 2020, Animal Wellness Action asked U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky to investigate allegations that seven Kentucky residents appeared to be deeply involved in illegal trafficking of fighting animals, with most of them sending birds to far-flung destinations across the world, including the Philippines, Mexico, and Honduras. One cockfighter, Tammy Shive-Ayala, sued Animal Wellness Action executives for exposing her illegal cockfighting activities, but a court tossed out her case.

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty. The group champions causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife, and it advocates against dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty. It also confronts factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, Animal Wellness Action promotes enacting good public policies and monitors the enforcement of those in place. To enact good laws, the group believes citizens must elect good lawmakers, and it helps educate voters on which candidates care about animal issues as well as those who are hostile to them. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all.

SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) is a national animal-protection organization focused on documenting and exposing cruelty to animals and holding animal-abusers accountable under the law. With hard-hitting tactics and a fearless approach, along with expert use of technology, SHARK works to document human abuses of animals and show them to the world, with the aim of stopping these abuses once and for all. One of its major campaigns is to “Crush Cockfighting,” designed to dismantle the massive network of cockfighting pits and breeders operating clandestinely and even openly throughout the United States.

Contact: Wayne Pacelle
(202) 420-0446

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