Oklahoma bill that would reduce cockfighting penalties stalls

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:14 PM CDT
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Okla. (KXII) - “It doesn’t matter whether you agree with chicken fighting or don’t agree with chicken fighting. That’s not what I’m arguing,” Oklahoma Representative JJ Humphrey said.

Rep. Humphrey said he wants to reduce the punishment for cockfighting.

“What I’m arguing does the penalty fit compared to our other penalties, and all day long, it’s a resounding no,” Rep. Humphrey continued.

However, a decision by legislatures, considering reducing the penalty, stalled on Monday.

Activists such as Animal Wellness Action President, Wayne Pacelle said he sees Representative Humphrey’s efforts as a way to get around the law entirely.

“It’s an organized criminal enterprise, so I think that shows exactly what Humphrey wants. He wants to completely repeal the state’s prohibition on animal fighting,” Pacelle argued.

To which Rep. Humphrey says isn’t true.

“I think if you saw it, especially if the courts wanted to fine people, I think you would probably see more enforcement on it than less enforcement,” Rep. Humphrey said.

Former Oklahoma Attorney Drew Edmondson said he wants prosecutors to have a range of enforcement options.

“But we don’t want all of the options there for the criminals, and that’s what this bill is trying to do. I would urge members of the legislature to vote this thing down,” Edmondson said.

House bill 2530 will be brought back up for discussion Tuesday afternoon.