Grant Cogswell recounts the history of the bloodsport:
Cockfighting was once legal in the United States (and it still is in Guam and Puerto Rico): Last holdout Louisiana outlawed it in 2008. The federal Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act carries a three-year sentence for moving fighting equipment, though enforcement focuses on the crueler practice—I would argue—of dogfighting.
Cockfighting is practiced all over the world, nearly: It came with the chicken from the tip of India, where fights go back 2,000 years. Banned in Britain in 1835, it spread to Europe from Reunion Island, a département of France in the Indian Ocean, and is preserved as a kind of folk art in the gallodromes outside Lille. It's still legal in France when practiced in a "traditional setting."
(Photo: Two roosters begin to fight during a cockfight in Managua, on August 12, 2012. Bloody cockfighting with spurs, a tradition inherited from Spain, makes Nicaraguans passionate as thousands of roosters fight each week for their lives. In the audience, screaming women abound, full of adrenaline for the combat and bets. By Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)