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Bob Moon: Louisiana shuts down its legal cockfighting operations today for good. It’s the last state to ban the sport. To some in Cajun Country, though, it’s the end of a rich tradition that was very profitable in small towns. Kate Archer Kent of Red River Radio reports from Shreveport, Louisiana.
Kate Archer Kent New Orleans-based attorney Art Lentini proposed several bills to ban cockfighting during his 12 years as a state senator.
Art Lentini: Some of the venues in Louisiana had over 700 people at events, so it’s pretty profitable. Some of the birds I understand went for thousands of dollars, you know, up to $5,000.
Lentini thinks the ban will force cockfights underground. That idea disappoints Sydnie Mae Durand. She’s a former state legislator who attended many cockfights over the years. She doesn’t want her state to seem barbaric, but she says cockfights packed arenas and united families.
Sydnie Mae Durand: I think it’s a sort of a sad day. It was part of the history. And a lot of people will realize that there won’t be some money that had been floating around, floating around anymore.
Durand says no one ever kept track of how much money cockfighting generated. But she thinks hotels and restaurants in the southern part of the state will do a lot less weekend business from now on.
I’m Shreveport, Louisiana, Kate Archer Kent for Marketplace.
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