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.
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.