A perverse thrill
Regarding the July 19 story in the News-Journal: “Roosters seized in Rusk County cockfighting sting now set to be euthanized due to disease diagnosis.”
Some stupid people enjoy a perverse thrill of seeing roosters fight to the death and people even gamble on the outcomes. They are engaging in an illegal activity of cockfighting but also making the birds vulnerable to a highly infectious disease: infectious laryngotracheitis, a highly contagious respiratory disease found in poultry.
The illness is caused by the herpes virus, according to the Texas Animal Health Commission. Once the disease is introduced, it spreads rapidly by contact. Birds that recover may continue to spread the disease for long periods of time. Infected birds will have difficulty breathing along with coughing and gasping, watery eyes, swollen sinuses, nasal discharge and bloody secretions from the trachea.
With all the mess with human disease connected with various types of “bird flu,” people found guilty of housing birds in tight cages for these deplorable purpose should face felonies with high fines.
The birds, nicknamed “Rusky Roos,” deserve humane care. It’s possible human-health could be affected. Don’t engage in this.
— James A. Marples, Longview