In 2008, the Code of Virginia Section 3.1-796.124 was amended to toughen the animal fighting law and penalties for engaging in the fighting of
animals, including roosters, for amusement, sport or gain. Roosters (chickens) are included in the definition of the term “animal”
under this law. The amended law states that
A. No person shall knowingly:
Attend an exhibition of the fighting of animals
Authorize or allow any person to undertake any act described in this section on any premises under his charge or control; or Aid or abet any such acts.
B. Any person who violates any provision of subsection A in combination with one or more of the following is guilty of a Class 6 felony:
When a dog is one of the animals
When any device or substance intended to enhance an animal’s ability to fight or to inflict injury upon another animals is used, or possessed
with intent to use it for such purpose
When money or anything of value is wagered on the result of such fighting
When money or anything of value is paid or received for the admission of a person to a place for animal fighting
When any animal is possessed, owned, trained, transported, or sold with the intent that the animal engage in an exhibition of fighting with another
When he permits or causes a minor to attend an exhibition of the fighting of any animals or undertake or be involved in any act described in this
C. Any animal control officer, as defined in Section 3.1-796.66, shall confiscate any animal that he determines has been, is, or is intended to be
used in animal fighting and any equipment used in training such animal or used in animal fighting.
Upon confiscation of an animal, the animal control officer shall petition the appropriate court for a hearing for a determination of whether the animal
has been, is, or is intended to be used in animal fighting. . . . Upon a final determination of guilt by the trial court on criminal charges . . . the
court shall order that the animal be forfeited to the locality. . . .
D. Any person convicted of violating any provision of subsection A or B shall be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion
animals or cocks.