United Poultry Concerns Cockfighting
Tulsa World Anti Cockfighting Editorial
Tulsa World
Cockfighting
By World's Editorial Writers
5/18/2002

Kansas has the right idea

The Kansas Legislature, by overwhelming votes in both houses, has approved a bill that outlaws cockfighting in that state. Gov. Bill Graves said he will sign the bill into law.

The bill makes it a misdemeanor to stage battles between roosters, train the birds to fight or watch such an event. It provides for penalties of up to $1,000 and a year in jail.

Kansas was one of only six states that do not have specific criminal laws banning the activity. Until now, prosecutions of cockfighting fell under Kansas' animal-cruelty laws.

The ease with which Kansas outlawed this barbaric and cruel "sport" is in sharp contrast to what's happened in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is one of two states where cockfighting is legal. In the early 1970s the state Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that because the Bible makes a distinction between beasts of the earth and fowl of the air, and because fighting roosters are fowl not beasts, the state's animal cruelty laws did not apply. Don't snicker. That's exactly what the court held.

Cockfighting involves roosters that are bred and trained to be aggressive. They are doped up on amphetamines, armed with razors attached to their spurs and dumped into pits to slash and claw each other to death while cheering spectators bet on the outcome. Yee haw!

Despite the fact that polls show that Oklahomans by a large margin oppose the activity, the Legislature has never had the courage to outlaw it. An initiative petition putting the issue to a vote of the people obtained sufficient signatures but cockfighting proponents mounted a legal challenge and the petition languishes in the state Supreme Court.

And cockfighting continues to be a national embarrassment for Oklahoma.


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(Cockfighting: Tulsa World Anti Cockfighting Editorial - May 18, 2002)

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