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One of a growing number of presidential candidates in 2008 is New Mexico’s Democrat governor, Bill Richardson.

One issue he had better resolve before the primary season begins was raised at a town hall meeting in Las Cruces on April 20, as reported by the Las Cruces Sun-News.

In addressing a crowd of 100, including a number of New Mexico state legislators, Gov. Richardson declared:

“This is your meeting and no speeches. This is your chance to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly.”

Then he grinned, and added:

“But try to keep the ugly out!”

Among the questioners was animal-rights activist Bob Young, who told the governor he was “disappointed” that Richardson has not shown more support for legislation to ban cockfighting.

New Mexico is one of the few states that has not banned cockfighting.

“I have not made up my mind on that,” replied Richardson, who added that the “arguments for and against cockfighting have been strong on both sides.”

The Sun-News did not report that Gov. Richardson mentioned any of the allegedly strong reasons to allow anything as deadly cruel to animals as cockfights – where the two chickens’ legs are attached to metal spurs either 1 /2 or 2 inches long and designed to wound and to kill.

But Richardson was quoted as saying: “The issue is controversial and probably draws more people to the Legislature than a lot of other issues.”

So why has this governor declined to make up his mind? And if he attends the 2008 Democratic National Convention as a favorite for either presidential or vice presidential nomination, how does he imagine that the national news media and the majority of voters of the nation will react if he still can’t make up his mind on the barbarity of cockfighting?

Although some cockfights go on to an absolute finish – with one of the competing birds dead – others permit the withdrawal at any time of a badly damaged cock.

It is not definitely established when metal spurs first were slipped over the natural spurs of the gamecocks. The first used were silver spurs, later iron spurs, then steel.

In some cockfighting countries – notably Cuba – steel spurs have been barred. Instead, bone spurs taken from non-fighting cocks and subjected to a special hardening process are employed.

That is because in cockfighting they must be hard enough to tear apart the body of the rival gamecock – preferably killing it.

And about this brutality, Gov. Richardson says:

“I have not made up my mind on that.”

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