Oklahoma: Cockfighting Must Remain a Serious Crime

OK S.B. 1522—Reducing Cockfighting Penalties
ASPCA Position: Oppose
Sponsor: Rep. Justin Humphrey, Senator David Bullard

A dangerous bill is close to becomimg law in Oklahoma that would reduce the penalties for the heinous crime of cockfighting—it must be stopped!

Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states. Under Oklahoma’s current state law, those found guilty of cockfighting can be charged with a felony offense—an effective deterrent to participating in such an atrocious act. If passed, Senate Bill 1522 will reduce penalties for cockfighting to a mere misdemeanor and could trigger the unintended consequence of increased cockfighting and jeopardize the safety of your community. We must act now!

The Horrors of Cockfighting

Animals used for horrific blood sports are subjected to indescribable suffering and cruelty—often living out their numbered days in squalid conditions, chained and injured, without access to basic care.

In organized cockfights, a bird may undergo several months of brutal training in preparation for a fight. In the final moments before the fight begins, the feathers of these poor creatures are painfully plucked and the loose skin below their beak is torn off. Then they are forced to attack one another.

Criminals fasten knives or long, barbed spears to their bird's feet, with the hope that their bird will impale the other, puncturing a lung, piercing an eye or breaking bones to inflict maximum injury or death. While the rules usually do not require one or both birds to die for a winner to be declared, death is the most likely outcome due to the severity of injuries.

Forcing animals to fight for entertainment and profit is a serious crime that has no place in any community. In addition to its barbaric nature, cockfighting is often closely connected to other crimes such as gambling, drugs and acts of violence.

We must protect Oklahoma’s communities by opposing this serious rollback in penalties for such a harmful and egregious crime.

What You Can Do

Shockingly, this bill has already passed the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee. It is critical that you contact your legislator TODAY and urge them to oppose S.B. 1522. Please use our easy form below to send your email.