Tulsa World |
By World's Editorial Writers
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
And cockfighting continues to be a national embarrassment for
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.|
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
(Cockfighting: Tulsa World Anti Cockfighting Editorial - May 18, 2002)