Okla. plan to reduce cockfighting penalties fails

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A bill that would have reduced the penalties for owning and raising roosters for cockfighting has been killed in a House committee.

The House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety voted 8-5 on Tuesday against the proposal by Porum Democrat Ed Cannaday.

Cannaday says the bill was requested by a neighbor who raises roosters and would have reduced the penalty from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Oklahoma voters outlawed cockfighting by a statewide vote in 2002, and violations are felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

But Cannaday says it's not uncommon for Oklahomans to raise roosters that are shipped out of the country for cockfighting.

The bill was opposed by Cynthia Armstrong, the Oklahoma state director of the Humane Society.

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