December 1, 2009
The HSUS Praises Ohio House for Passing Felony Cockfighting Bill
John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement in response to news that the Ohio House of Representatives passed H.B. 108, a bill that would make cockfighting a felony:
"The passage of the felony cockfighting bill in the Ohio House of Representatives is a crucial step towards bringing Ohio in line with the 39 states — including every other state in the Great Lakes region — that already punish the cruel blood sport as a felony. We encourage the Senate to act quickly and pass this legislation to ensure Ohio isn't a magnet for this gruesome blood sport. Attaching sharp knives to the heels of roosters so they can fight to the death for entertainment and gambling purposes warrants a stronger penalty than the existing class 4 misdemeanor, which is the equivalent of a traffic ticket."
- Tens of thousands of people are involved in underground cockfighting nationwide.
- Common cockfighting practices include breeding birds for viciousness, drugging them to heighten aggression and fitting their legs with razor-sharp knives or gaffs, which resemble curved ice picks.
- Law enforcement raids across the country have revealed that cockfights, which are frequently attended by children, often involve firearms and other weapons due to the large amounts of cash present for gambling.
- Law enforcement officials have documented a strong connection between cockfighting and the distribution of illegal drugs.
- Broadcast-quality video and high-resolution images of cockfighting are available at video.hsus.org.
Follow The HSUS on Twitter.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.