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February 23, 2010

HSUS Investigation Reveals Uniformed Police Officers Attended Ky. Cockfights

KY cockfight schedule

John Goodwin/The HSUS

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Humane Society of the United States held a press conference to announce that two separate undercover investigations revealed uniformed law enforcement  officers — including a state police officer and a local constable — attending the Laurel Creek Game Club cockfighting pit and apparently failing to enforce the state's anti-cockfighting law. See unedited video here. 

"Cockfighting is a cruel blood sport that is illegal in Kentucky and every other state, and is often associated with narcotics, violence and other crimes," said John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for The Humane Society of the United States. "Kentucky police officers should not treat this criminal activity with a wink and a nod, and it's another sign that state lawmakers must act to strengthen the penalties for cockfighting."

According to a January 2010 survey of 625 Kentucky voters by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., 79 percent of voters agree that cockfighting is animal cruelty and should be a felony crime. The margin for error was plus or minus four percentage points.

H.B. 169, introduced by Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Louisville, would set meaningful penalties for this crime as well as provide law enforcement with additional tools to identify and prosecute all forms of animal fighting. Twenty-five county sheriff's departments in Kentucky have endorsed the legislation, and The HSUS called on the Kentucky State Police to join the coalition supporting this anti-crime and anti-cruelty measure.

Kentucky residents are asked to take action by visiting humanesociety.org/kycockfighting.

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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.

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