Amazon.com Sued Over Cockfighting Magazines

The HSUS ( Humane Society of the United States) has announced that it will sue online retailer Amazon.com Inc. based on Amazon's sale of two magazines -- The Gamecock and The Feathered Warrior -- that promote illegal cockfighting activities in violation of federal law.?

The suit is based on legal violations the animal protection organization first brought to Amazon’s attention almost a year ago, including repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In July 2005, the President of the HSUS wrote to Amazon asking that these cockfighting magazines be removed from Amazon’s website because the materials and advertisements in the magazines clearly violate the Animal Welfare Act.

The HSUS claims that to date no response has been received, and cockfighting magazines continue to be one of the top sellers on the Amazon.com website, with The Gamecock ranking at number 501 on Amazon’s list of 17,142 magazines for subscription sales.

"It is hard to understand why a legitimate retailer like Amazon would be selling federally banned animal-fighting materials," said Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president of animal protection litigation for The HSUS. "No one respects free speech more than we do, but inciting criminal cockfighting is not protected speech, and cannot be tolerated."

The lawsuit is based on documentary and other evidence collected by HSUS investigators showing that The Gamecock and The Feathered Warrior are published for the express purpose of promoting unlawful animal fighting. This includes the publishers’ own statements that they have "no problem" with using the magazines to sell fighting birds in violation of federal animal-fighting laws, or to advertise fighting implements like specially designed gaffs and knives that have no use beyond cockfighting.

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EPN