- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 13, 2007

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) Gov. Bill Richardson has signed a measure that outlaws cockfighting in New Mexico, leaving Louisiana as the only state where the centuries-old blood sport remains legal.

State Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, who has introduced legislation to ban cockfighting over the past 18 years, thanked Mr. Richardson, who until this legislative session had declined to take a stance on the issue. The prohibition takes effect June 15.

“Today, New Mexico joins 48 other states in affirming that the deliberate killing of animals for entertainment and profit is no longer acceptable,” said Miss Garcia, a Democrat.

Mr. Richardson signed the bill Monday at a ceremony at the state Capitol in Santa Fe.

Cockfighting fans have accused Mr. Richardson of taking a sudden interest in cockfighting now that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president.

“I’m so upset that it’s ruining my life,” said Ronald Barron, president of the New Mexico Game Fowl Association. “I’ve got 38 years doing this. This isn’t a business. It’s my pleasure. It’s my right, or rather it was my right.”

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