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Kentuckians Want Tougher Cockfighting Laws

January 28th, 2010 · 29 Comments

That mean Joni Jenkins (co-sponsored by Republican Ron Crimm) has filed House Bill 169 to make cockfighting illegal! Why, I never! The nerve. Typical woman. Trying to protect innocent animals from ridiculous Michael Vick-esque crap.

Amend KRS 525.125, relating to cruelty to animals in the first degree, to provide that causing any animal, not just a four-legged animal, to fight is a Class D felony; amend KRS 525.130, relating to cruelty to animals in the second degree, to provide that a person is guilty of cruelty to animals in the second degree if he is a spectator at any animal fight, not just a four-legged animal fight, possesses an animal for fighting, possesses a device used for animal fighting, or administers a drug to an animal for the purpose of fighting.

Thank goodness.

Because the Humane Society of the United States just released a Mason-Dixon poll showing that Kentucky voters overwhelmingly favor tougher penalties for cockfighting. Kentucky’s got one of the weakest cockfighting (how many times can I say this word?) laws in the country. It’s a felony in 39 states but it’s merely a Class A Misdemeanor in Kentucky.


“These survey results confirm what we have long known: Kentucky residents won’t tolerate the cruelty of cockfighting or its association with gambling, drugs and other illicit crimes,” said Pam Rogers, Kentucky state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “An anemic penalty for such a serious crime is out of step with the mainstream values of Kentucky voters. We need a legislative remedy to set meaningful penalties and provide a real deterrent.”

According to the poll, 79% of voters (regardless of race/gender/political affiliation) agree that cockfighting is animal cruelty and should be a felony. Only 12% say cockfighting is a tradition that should be preserved. A nine-to-one margin of voters say they’re more likely to support a candidate who backs stronger penalties.

“Increasing the penalties for cockfighting in Kentucky is not only the humane thing to do, but it is good government,” Rep. Jenkins said. “The economic cost of cockfighting to county governments and law enforcement agencies is significant. Gambling and narcotic convictions associated with cockfighting increase financial pressure on our jails and our local and state government budgets.”

Some facts about cockfighting:

Tens of thousands of people are involved in cockfighting nationwide

  • In a cockfight, two roosters fight each other to the death while people place bets on the outcome of the fight
  • Common cockfighting practices include breeding birds for viciousness, drugging them to heighten aggression, and fitting their legs with razor-sharp knives or gaffs resembling ice picks (spurs)
  • Law enforcement raids across the country have revealed that cockfights, which are frequently attended by children, involve illegal gambling and — as a result of the large amount of cash present — firearms and other weapons are also often present
  • Law enforcement agencies have documented a strong connection between cockfighting and the distribution of illegal drugs

I think it’s high time for Kentucky to finally do the right thing.

Tags: Corruption · Frustration · Polling · Stats

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Thunder Storm // Jan 28, 2010 at 11:36 am

    So does this mean if we eliminate cock-fighting, it will hamper the distribution of illegal drugs.

    I must say I have never ever been a partner in a conversation about cock fighting.

    I think Joni should pass a law making illicit drugs illegal. That would really help America…… wait, drugs are illegal…. laws are passed….Boy, thats a real successful law isn’t it!

  • 2 Thinker // Jan 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    HSUS has no real data to back up their claims. That is the problem with using a lobbying group as source of information. Same with their nonsense about dog fighting: paraphernalia include treadmills, antibiotics, etc. Thing is, anyone with dogs that wants to keep them in competitive form may use these same things, including people who compete in agility, weight pulling, conformation shows, etc.
    HSUS has a long history of passing out misinformation. You should check them out before giving them so much press. Remember the Louisville Animal law disaster? Remember Meloche? HSUS supported both.

  • 3 Larry West // Jan 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    So the law applies to “any animal”? Does that mean that the fights-to-the-death between feeder guppies and the fish that eat feeder guppies are no longer allowed? What about professional boxers and wrestlers, especially the ones with “animal” in their nickname? Have they really thought this law through? :-)

  • 4 marie // Jan 29, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Some information:

    It has long been believed by members of humane law enforcement that persons involved in animal abuse are often involved in committing other types of crimes as well. This observation was recently validated in a study done by Northeastern University and the MSPCA.

    In the study, a number of cruelty cases prosecuted by the MSPCA between 1975 and 1996 were reviewed.

    Professors Arnold Arluke and Jack Levin of Northeastern University and Carter Luke of the MSPCA conducted the study which is the first to examine the relationship between violence against animals and crime in general. Results indicate that 70 percent of those who committed crimes against animals had also been involved in other violent, property, drug, and disorderly crimes.

    The study also concluded that a person who has committed animal abuse is:
    * 5 times more likely to commit violence against people
    * 4 times more likely to commit property crimes
    * 3 times more likely to be involved in drunken or disorderly offenses

    For more information on the study, contact the MSPCA Legal Department.

  • 5 U of L staffer // Jan 29, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Thanks for the stats Marie. Larry, your statement about guppies is not the same as cockfighting. Fish eat smaller fish for food, for survival. Cockfighting is not the same thing. Professional boxers & wrestlers fight by choice (and for money of course). Maybe we can start cleaning Kentucky’s image up with this new bill. It’s about time. My belief is that anybody who can abuse or mistreat an animal, is capable of abusing a helpless child or elderly person. And God only knows we can use some help with child abuse in this state.

  • 6 EdenSprings // Jan 29, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    What is the legal definition of “adequate” food, drink, space and health care?

    If I feed my dog ‘Ol Roy and someone decides that only a holistic, raw food diet is “adequate” will I be arrested?

    If I crate my dog during the day while I’m at work, who decides whether the size of the crate I use provides “adequate” space?

    If I breed cats which are in good condition and (other than rabies), I provide them will all vaccinations and treat minor issues at home, is it “adequate” health care if most of my cats haven’t ever been to a vet?

    If I put my dog in the back yard with a water bowl and he dumps it, am I guilty of not providing “adequate” water for him?

    HB 169 is as poorly written as HSUS’s attempt to craft Louisville’s animal ordinance, and just as unconstitutional.

  • 7 jake // Jan 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I love how all of you folks from the University of Louisville and those who led the fight to oust Gilles Meloche are suddenly playing stupid (not ignorant, stupid).

    Legislation like this is a work in progress. Bills are edited, adjusted, changed and crafted throughout the consideration process. And part of that process involves public input. If you’ve got something to say, get in touch with your respective legislator.

  • 8 EdenSprings // Jan 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    And one other thing…per this bill, if someone steals my dog out of my yard and while in their possession it gets into a fight with another dog, I’M GUILTY OF A FELONY! Automatically, with no exemption.

    And if YOUR dog gets out an starts a fight and any human being is standing around–FELONY! Both you and that other person are eligible to be arrested for dog fighting!

  • 9 jake // Jan 29, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    P.S. It’s funny that everyone is so up in arms over the current statute.

    Jenkins’ bill only changes the dog fighting statute to include two-legged animals (rooseters).

  • 10 Thinker // Jan 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    U of L Staffer, perhaps you should change your logon name for this forum as I ‘m sure U of L would not want anyone to believe you are speaking for the University.

    Revising a bad law without also fixing that law is simply silly. Poorly crafted legislation is not good for anyone.

  • 11 EdenSprings // Jan 29, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Jake: RuKidnMe?

    “Legislation like this is a work in progress” –since when did you start channeling Mayor McCheese? That’s EXACTLY what he said about our fabulous animal ordinance. Get real, dude!

  • 12 marie // Jan 30, 2010 at 12:31 am

    If you are truly providing adequate, i.e. humane care to your animal; treating the animal in a manner that you yourself would want to be treated
    (this is a pet?), then the thought of being arrested should never occur to you.

    Otherwise, don’t have a pet!

  • 13 jake // Jan 30, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Actually, that’s not at all what Jerry Abramson said about Louisville’s animal ordinance.

    And you apparently can’t read the legislation to comprehend that the only change Jenkins is proposing is to include two-legged animals.

    What needs to occur, really, is you and your crew of two or three need to get the hell over Jerry Abramson and Gilles Meloche. Not everything wrong with the world is their fault. And disagreeing with something/not understanding the legislative process is not license to compare everything you dislike to Metro Animal Services or Abramson’s fuck-ups.

  • 14 EdenSprings // Jan 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/yctcw92

  • 15 jake // Jan 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Folks, I’ve made it absolutely clear that you cannot post links that aren’t clear or without explaining them. Let’s stick to that for the sake of reader security.

    That said – your link has nothing to do with the MD poll results or the legislation at hand. If you’re taking issue with the human society, that’s fine. The humane society didn’t propose amending legislation to include two-legged animals and they merely paid for the poll from a firm that has a track record of good results.

  • 16 EdenSprings // Jan 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    WAVE-3 News: Mayor signs dangerous dog ordinance into law

    By Maureen Kyle Posted: 2/16/2007

    After signing the ordinance Thursday, the mayor had this to say: “Is it a perfect ordinance? I would submit to you that it is not. It is a work in progress.”

    http://www.wave3.com/Global/story.asp?S=5892883

  • 17 jake // Jan 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    If you were half as aware as you profess to be, you’d understand that Jerry Abramson is merely spinning out of control – not saying that it’s an actual work in progress, which legislation under consideration actually is.

  • 18 Dan // Jan 30, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I hope this bill passes. Those in opposition to this bill may not realize that cockfighters put knives on the birds legs. When they fight, they kick and stab each other. A lot of pain is inflicted for nothing more than a gambling pursuit. It’s ridiculous. It needs to be stopped.

    As for drugs at cockfights, the Drug Enforcement Agency has confirmed that. See: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2009/01/dea-officials-b.html

  • 19 ky hilltopper // Feb 4, 2010 at 1:08 am

    No HSUS didnt propose this law,they just payed many lobbyist to help get it proposed. Come on lets get real people,HSUS has one agenda stop all animal use. I can tell you that not all cockfighters are are bad people,and children today see alot more cruelty on tv and video games. For the record you dont have to give a gamefowl drugs to fight they will fight to the death with just grass and corn. I will not back this law period, if man wants to fight a chicken he raised so be it. I would also like to say that drugs are everywhere here in kentucky,and the ones that are doing the most damage are coming out of our pharmaceys not chicken pits.

  • 20 jake // Feb 4, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Unfortunately for your argument, Joni Jenkins proposed this update to current legislation a long ass time before anybody approached her.

    I’m not sure the HSUS even has lobbyists in Frankfort.

  • 21 ky hilltopper // Feb 4, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    All I know is were ever HSUS is sticking their nose,ther will be lies and they paint a false piciture to get what they want. Sinse you know so much about this issue can you tell me were this poll was done,and how many rural people where asked vs urban people sinse kentucky has alot of rural people. 625 dont seem like thats enough to come up with a accurate answer. Also are you telling me that Joni Jenkins has no ties with HSUS .

  • 22 ky hilltopper // Feb 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    One more thing, how in the hell do you know when and if she was appoached.

  • 23 jake // Feb 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Before I can answer your questions, I’m going to need you to use at least decent grammar so I can understand you. Then I definitely will.

    Since when is 625 people not a decent sample size? It’s good enough for most other polls.

    How do I know when/if she was approached? Because I… wait for it… asked her.

  • 24 ky hilltopper // Feb 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Thats what I figured!

  • 25 heather // Mar 17, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    The only thing that Kentucky should be focused on is the DRUGS coming from other States and the wellfare of our children…….

  • 26 ky redbone // Apr 3, 2010 at 7:32 am

    jake your a dumass

  • 27 ky boy // Jul 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    people need to start minding their own & worry about the direction the goverment is taking us. not sure about everybody else but i see more taxes that the average American cant afford. a President to nsay that he wont raise taxes on npeople who make less than 200,000 we dont come close to half that an he hasnt lighten the burden on me only more taXES IN THE FORM OF OUR EVERYDAY UTILITIES 11% incress on electric passed we pay $30 in taxes a month just on a$29.00 a month bill this ne3w America he plans will do no more than destroy this country. we have childmalesters serving less time than people growing pot. theifs can sew ya for getting hurt while nrobbing ya i say shot first the dead cant talk fucking crooks. im all for npeda “PEOPLE EATING DEAD ANIMALS’

  • 28 jake // Jul 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    ky boy: Let me guess… You’re overweight, white, unmarried but have children, you’re “disabled” or are otherwise on the draw and drink/party.

    Did I nail it? Scary, I know.

    That said – Nobama doesn’t decide what your utility bills in Louisville are – LG&E and the Public Service Commission are the folks to blame.

    P.S. You might not want to have a confederate flag all over your Myspace page if you don’t want me to think you’re a racist dickbag.

  • 29 freeman // Aug 23, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    jake,let me guess.your a queer,that lives with his mom and owns two copys of the movie free willy.You really are scared now,I know.P.S.Sounds like to me your being racist against the south.What you need to do is when you are driving down the road and see a confederate flag,go right up there and just rip it down or else I will think your just a big shit talking pussy.