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Ohio House Votes to Strengthen Cockfighting Penalties

With a vote of 85-7, the Ohio House of Representatives has passed H.B. 215, a bill to upgrade the state’s law on cockfighting and enacting  felony level penalties to participate in the blood sport, which involves two roosters fighting each other to the death while people place bets.

Only eight states currently punish cockfighting with only misdemeanor penalties, including Ohio. Felony laws are crucial because cockfighters seek out states with the weakest laws to carry out their abusive practices.

Corey Roscoe, Ohio state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said: “Cockfighting is a barbaric combination of animal cruelty and gambling. With today’s vote, the Ohio House has sent the message that our state takes this crime seriously. We now urge the Senate to quickly pass this bill to bring our cockfighting law in line with our neighboring states.”

The HSUS thanks the bill sponsors, Rep. Barbara Sears and Rep. Heather Bishoff, for their leadership. In addition to the support of agriculture and humane groups, law enforcement and religious groups, including the Southern Baptist Convention, back the measure.

Media Contacts: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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