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March 5, 2014

Cockfighting Bill Passes Utah House Committee

Legislation to upgrade Utah’s law on cockfighting passed the House Judiciary Committee with a vote of 7-2. SB 112, which now moves on for a full vote in the House, makes it a felony on the second offense to participate in the blood sport where two roosters fight each other to the death while people place bets. A first offense will be prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor.

Utah was left as the only state in the West without felony cockfighting penalties last year after Nevada upgraded its law. Felony laws are crucial because cockfighters seek out states with the weakest laws to carry out their abusive practices.

Sundays Hunt, Utah state director for The HSUS, said: “The House Judiciary Committee took us one step closer to having a meaningful punishment for cockfighting by voting to send SB 112 to the House floor for a final vote. The cockfighters’ brazen presence at the Capitol today confirms that their blood sport is a growing problem in Utah and that the current law is too weak to deter them. We urge the House to move quickly to pass this bill so this cruel and illegal activity will lose any foothold is has gained in our state.”

Media Contacts: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, stwining@humanesociety.org

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