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17 Face Charges in Idaho Cockfight Event Intended To Fight N.M. Ban

The Associated Press
    BLACKFOOT, Idaho— An Idaho cockfight was intended to raise money to lobby against legislation that would outlaw the practice in New Mexico, authorities said.
    Bingham County sheriff's deputies who broke up the cockfight cited 11 people for exhibition of cockfighting and six people for obstructing and delaying. The people were from Idaho, Utah and Nevada.
    The cockfight was at a farm eight miles west of Blackfoot, Sheriff Dave Johnson said. Several people escaped on foot when deputies arrived, he said.
    A document found at the scene stated the cockfight was produced by "The United Game Fowl Association," but there were no names or contact numbers, Johnson said Monday.
    "It's a pretty long document here that they had, describing why they're raising the money to fight the legislation they had to outlaw it in Albuquerque and New Mexico," he said.
    Officers also found several dead roosters. Johnson said it did not appear the birds were raised on the farm.
    Police said organizers were charging admission and spectators were betting on the fights.
    Cockfighting is legal in only two states— New Mexico and Louisiana. In New Mexico, the sport already is banned in 13 of the state's 33 counties and 29 cities, including Albuquerque.
    Legislation introduced in the New Mexico Senate would prohibit cockfighting statewide.
    Cockfighting has been illegal in Idaho since 1883. Exhibition is a misdemeanor and carries up to a $300 fine and up to six months in prison.