27th November 2000
Letters to the Editor
Toronto Star
One Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1E6

Dear Editor,

You might consider renaming your recent article: “Cockfighting for Cowards”, because those are the only people who engage in this particular act of brutality. Strapping razor sharp spurs on their birds, the owners gamble away their family’s savings watching birds slash each other, until the loser bleeds to death.

Would the Star publish an article on the ‘sport of wife beating’, or the ‘sport of child abuse’? There is a link between cruelty to animals and violence against people. And hiding behind your culture to commit acts of violence is truly the last refuge of a coward. Cruelty to animals and people isn’t anyone’s cultural right.

For your readers who might consider getting into this cruel spectacle, cockfighting has been illegal in Canada since 1892. It is a criminal offence punishable up to 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $ 2,000 and you can be prohibited from owning or working with animals for up to two years. Illegal gambling, weapons and drugs which are also a part of cockfighting leads to other criminal charges and penalties.

How do I know this? Because over the last 30 years, I’ve worked in over 80 countries fighting cruelty to animals, including working undercover to bust cockfighters – some of the most gutless cowards I have ever met.


Michael O'Sullivan
Executive Director

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.