Animal right activists want felony punishment for cockfighting

By: Janet Kim Email
By: Janet Kim Email

There are shocking new allegations about cockfighting in Kentucky. A national animal rights group says it has proof that fights are still common in the state.

Tuesday, it revealed undercover video of cockfights being held in one community as it called on state lawmakers to toughen laws against the practice.

"This is a horrible activity," says John Goodwin, a manager with The Humane Society of the United States.

Advocates want cockfighting in Kentucky to be considered a felony.

"Cockfighting is a sadistic blood sport," says Goodwin.

In a rally at the State Capitol, The Humane Society of the United States unveiled video from an undercover investigation taken in January 2009 and February 2010, revealing what appears to be a cockfight with uniformed law enforcement officers present at the event.

"We approached the state police with this footage after we gathered it and gave them a chance to respond and their position is the law on cockfighting in Kentucky is ambiguous," says Goodwin.

Kentucky State Police have released a statement noting it has launched an internal inquiry to address issues seen in the video.

Proposed House Bill 169 is written to remove ambiguous language and set felony punishment for cockfighting.

The Humane Society of the United States representatives say Kentucky is one of only 11 states where cockfighting is still a misdemeanor.

"It's untaxed, illegal gambling, and it's animal cruelty," says Goodwin.


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