In a cockfight, two roosters fight each other to the death while people place bets. Cockfighters let the birds suffer untreated injuries or throw the birds away like trash afterwards. Besides being cruel, cockfighting often goes hand in hand with gambling, drug dealing, illegal gun sales and murder.
Left to themselves, roosters rarely hurt each other badly. In cockfights, on the other hand, the birds often wear razor-sharp blades on their legs and incur injuries like punctured lungs, broken bones and pierced eyes—when they even survive.
Sadly, people often bring young children to cockfights. Seeing adults relish such brutality can teach kids to enjoy violence and think that animal suffering is okay.
Cockfighting happens in many kinds of neighborhoods and in states around the country. It is illegal in all states and a felony in 40, which means that many states need to toughen up their laws.
News & Events
October 10, 2013
State and local authorities and The Humane Society of the United States announced their collaboration to help rid Nevada of animal fighting under a new state law that makes cockfighting a first-offense felony. The new law was passed by the Nevada legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval this summer, and it went into effect on Oct. 1. Only 10 states do not have felony penalties for cockfighting.
August 15, 2013
To step up its fight against all forms of illegal animal cruelty, The Humane Society of the United States has formed its first National Law Enforcement Council comprising current and former law enforcement officers and prosecutors from across the country.
June 17, 2013
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 199-0 to outlaw the possession of animal fighting paraphernalia.
June 12, 2013
Utah has become the only state in the Western contiguous United States without first-offense felony penalties for cockfighting, after Nevada enacted its upgraded law Monday.
October 23, 2013
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance to prohibit the use of bullhooks and other tools to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants used in circuses and traveling shows to take effect in three years.
August 8, 2013
A bill to increase penalties for extreme animal neglect is now law in New Jersey. "Patrick's Law," was named in honor of Patrick, a young dog who endured severe neglect and was found almost starved to death. Patrick's suffering has become emblematic of the need for New Jersey to treat extreme animal neglect with the seriousness it deserves.
July 1, 2013
Kennel owners and operators who commit acts of animal cruelty could be charged with a felony on a first offense, under a bill known as "Nitro's Law" passed by the Ohio legislature.
June 20, 2013
The New Jersey Legislature passed two bills that will strengthen New Jersey's cruelty laws by increasing penalties for extreme animal neglect and will allow certain veterinary students to engage in supervised veterinary activities. The Humane Society of the United States urges Gov. Chris Christie to sign both bills into law.