The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has sent out an action alert to members, reminding them that the Alabama Legislature has the opportunity again this year to make cockfighting a felony in the state of Alabama.
Alabama H.B. 342 (sponsored by Rep. James Fields) & S.B. 124 (sponsored by Senator Myron Penn):
- Makes cockfighting a felony.
- Makes it a felony to own, possess or train birds with the intent to fight.
- Makes it a felony to promote or advertise a cockfight.
- Makes it a misdemeanor to be a spectator at a cockfight.
- Allows for seizure of birds in cockfights and forfeiture of property and profits.
A description of cockfighting from the HSUS site:
Left to themselves, roosters almost never hurt each other badly. In cockfights, on the other hand, the birds often wear razor-sharp blades on their legs and get injuries like punctured lungs, broken bones and pierced eyes—when they even survive.
Sadly, people often bring young children to cockfights. Seeing adults relish such brutality can teach kids to enjoy violence and think that animal suffering is okay.
Cockfighting happens in many kinds of neighborhoods and in states around the country. It is illegal in all states and a felony in 39 [PDF], which means that many states need to toughen up their laws.
Alabama could be the 40th state to do so and you can help! The HSUS has a tool to help you find your state legislators and ask them to support the legislation.
Yes, cockfighting is already illegal in Alabama, but it's only a misdemeanor punishable by a $50 fine. Part of the cost of doing business, sir! It's not only about the money: a felony is deemed to be a serious crime worthy of law enforcement attention, while a misdemeanor is, well, not that big of a deal overall. Let's send a message that in Alabama, animal cruelty IS a serious crime.
You may remember that similar legislation has failed before. Let's help pass it this year.