Cockfighting on the Ropes - Court Upholds Ban

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- The state Supreme Court upheld Oklahoma's
ban on cockfighting today. Supporters of cockfighting had argued the law banning the blood-sport was unconstitutionally vague and deprived people involved in cockfighting of their property without compensation.

Today's ruling says the act is constitutional and is a proper exercise of police power, approved by voters through the initiative process.

The cockfighting ban passed by 125,000 votes in November
2002.

The state high court says the ban will prevent cruelty to
animals. The ruling overturns a series of district court orders that had
blocked enforcement of the ban, mostly in eastern Oklahoma
counties. Participants in cockfights and people who raise birds for
fighting will be subject to felony charges, with up to ten years in
jail and $25,000 fines.


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