Senate passes legislation to upgrade cockfighting law
BATON ROUGE - A bill to close loopholes in Louisiana's ban on cockfighting and put the law in line with other state laws that prohibit dogfighting received final legislative passage Tuesday with a 34-4 vote of the Senate.
The measure by Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, broadens the definition of "chicken" in the current law to include roosters, game fowl and other birds.
It also criminalizes the possession, manufacturing, buying and selling of spurs, gaffs and knives if there is evidence the paraphernalia is being used to fight chickens. And it toughens the penalties for anyone convicted of cockfighting.
"Louisiana may have been the last state to ban cockfighting, but if Governor Jindal signs this bill, we will have one of the best animal fighting laws in the region. This state will never again be a refuge for those who engage in these cruel spectacles where roosters are forced to fight to the death." said Julia Breaux, Louisiana state director The Humane Society of the United States.
Louisiana was the last state in the nation to outlaw cockfighting, with the ban going into effect in 2008. The legislature upgraded the law in 2010 with legislation that made it a crime to knowingly attend a cockfight. Sen. Morrell's bill is expected to plug any remaining loopholes in Louisiana's cockfighting ban.