Cockfighting bills that would reduce punishment spark controversy
OKLAHOMA (KXII) - “The people voted to make it illegal. They didn’t vote on the punishment. The state legislators set the punishment,” Oklahoma House Representative, Justin Humphrey said.
Two Oklahoma bills that would reduce cockfighting punishments in Oklahoma have sparked a conversation among politicians and animal activists, like Wayne Pacelle, President of Animal Wellness Action.
“Dozens of counties, including many of the biggest cockfighting counties in Oklahoma with known cockfighting activity, where sheriffs know about game cock farms, they know about fighting pits, and they took no action,” Pacelle said.
Rep. Humphrey said, that’s not true.
“Law enforcement can’t act on the ridiculous stuff that they produce and what they say, and they will break the law themselves and then claim everybody else is covering up because they can provide no adequate information to go get anything,” Rep. Humphrey explained.
But Pacelle said only 29 law enforcement actions have been taken against cockfighting in the last 20 years.
“This is a pattern of deficient enforcement, and the legislative response should be to seek additional or provide additional resources for law enforcement, not to weaken the laws,” Pacelle exclaimed.
However, Rep. Humphrey said he’s doing what he thinks the people of Oklahoma want.
“The people came back in 780 and voted that we want a lot of our felonies reduced to a misdemeanor because we’re tired of locking people up that we’re not scared of,” Rep. Humphrey explained.
However, opponents argue that animal cruelty is indeed scary, and the people involved should face felony level punishment.
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