Machipongo, VA - Today chicken advocates rejoice that Oklahoma voters
passed State Question 687, making Oklahoma the 48th state to ban
cockfighting. The ban makes cockfighting and related activities a
felony offense punishable for up to ten years in prison. Oklahoma is
the 27th state to adopt felony-level penalties for cockfighting.
Wayne Pacelle, a Senior Vice President of The Humane Society of the
United States announced today: "Voters have demonstrated they care
about the protection of animals, whether the abuse involves intensive
confinement on factory farms or staged animal fights." Michael
Markarian, President of The Fund For Animals, proclaimed, "The law is
closing in on cockfighters, and there are now only two states that
allow these gladiatorial spectacles."
More good news: "Man will do time for chicken crime," Nov. 5, 2002.
On Monday, November 4th, a Valparaiso, Indiana man who sexually
assaulted and killed a hen in a motel room on May 27, 2001, received
a 10 and 1/2 year prison sentence for his crime. Valparaiso
Post-Tribune writer Frank Wiget reported yesterday that Porter County
Superior Court Judge Thomas Webber "said there was sufficient
evidence of animal cruelty" to warrant the penalty imposed on Michael
Bessigano, who plucked and raped the hen while she was alive. In May
2001 UPC posted an Action Alert urging people to demand conviction of
Bessigano. We wrote to the Porter County Prosecutor urging that
Bessigano be prosecuted for felony cruelty to animals and as a
habitual offender. His history of cruelty to birds dates back to 1991
when he was arrested for breaking a rooster's neck and abusing geese.
We are grateful to Judge Webber for his decision.
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that
promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
For more information visit www.UPC-online.org