On Monday, April 5, Hawaii's House Judiciary Committee decided to shelve a proposal to recognize cockfighting for its cultural significance in the state, evidently deciding that the measure would have far too great implications on animal rights.
Previously, the Hawaii House Tourism, Culture and International Affairs Committee approved the proposal to recognize cockfighting, which is widespread on the islands, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Currently, cockfighting is prohibited in all 50 states, and although the measure would not have legalized the practice, the proposal drew the ire of many animal rights and animal welfare groups.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the U.S. Humane Society, wrote on his blog, "A wide array of animal abusers use the smokescreen of culture as a defense for their depravity, whether they are bullfighters, dogfighters, or seal clubbers."
In an apparent acquiescence to these and other complaints, Hawaiian lawmakers shelved the proposal, effectively eliminating its chance of being passed.
"Absent some extraordinary maneuvers that I'm not aware of, it's dead," Blake Oshiro, the state's House majority leader, told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Cockfighting is a felony in 33 states and Washington DC, and 40 states have made it illegal to be a spectator of a cockfight.