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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.


  • Cockfighting is illegal in every state in the U.S. and a felony in 40 states. Alex Gallardo/For The HSUS

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, some people bring children to cockfights, which can teach kids to enjoy violence and think that animal suffering is okay.

Cockfighting happens in many kinds of neighborhoods and all around the country. It is a felony in only 40 states, which means that many states need to toughen up their laws. Get the facts on cockfighting »


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  • December 29, 2014

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  • March 14, 2014

    South Dakota Lawmakers Enact Stronger Animal Cruelty Penalties

    South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a new law making the state the 50th to set felony penalties for malicious acts of animal cruelty. SB 46 also sets felony penalties for cockfighting, which is now a felony in 41 states and a misdemeanor in the other nine. The Humane Society of the United States strongly supported both upgrades to the state’s laws.

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