L.A. ANIMAL TORTURE-KILLINGS BLAMED ON SECT Associated Press Los Angeles Animal torture an

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L.A. ANIMAL TORTURE-KILLINGS BLAMED ON SECT Associated Press Los Angeles Animal torture and slayings attributed to devil worshippers and the Afro-Cuban Santeria religion appear to be increasing in this area, and authorities are studying the legal question of how to stop the practices. The city Board of Animal Regulation has asked for a report on the matter, board member Arther Margolis said yesterday. Reed said authorities last fall found six goats bound and kept in the bathroom of a Culver city home, along with several chickens. Candles and other religious items suggested Santeria links, and the owners were charged with animal cruelty. Margolis, an attorney, hopes the report will lead to consideration of a law banning animal killing and torture as part of a religious ceremony. He expects a First Amendment fight to follow immediately, as it already has in Hialeah, Fla. That predominantly Hispanic city near Miami passed three laws in 1987 aimed at the Santeria Church of Lukumi Babalu Ave., Florida's first public church of the sect. The Hialeah laws prohibit sacrifice of animals, including goats, pigs, cows, poultry, cats or dogs, animals that sect members slaughter during rituals. The church sued the city in federal court, alleging that the laws violate the constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion. Santeria is a mix of Roman Catholicism, voodoo and African rituals attributed to a Nigerian tribe. (Taken without permission from the San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, July 22, 1988, page A14)

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