Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Bill advances to make cockfighting a felony
First Published Mar 05 2013 11:55 am • Last Updated Mar 11 2013 10:09 pm

After a few feathers were ruffled in debate, the Utah Senate voted Tuesday to make cockfighting a felony — despite arguments that it would be too harsh. Utah currently is the only Western state where cockfighting is just a misdemeanor.

Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, sponsor of SB52, said the change is needed to prevent Utah from becoming a magnet for the fights and gambling on them. He displayed on the Senate floor pictures of birds killed in the fights, and held up the razor-sharp spurs they wear.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"Cockfights seek out the states with the weakest penalties," he said. Davis persuaded the Senate to pass the bill 19-9, and sent it to the House.

But others argued the penalty was too severe.

"It’s not a beautiful thing to watch animals fight, but should we put a man in prison because he does this?" said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden.

A day earlier, Christensen created a stir — and extensive press coverage — when he questioned if Utah should send someone to prison for allowing roosters to fight while the state allows "people to go ahead and murder their unborn babies."

Christensen unsuccessfully tried to amend the bill Tuesday to keep cockfighting as a Class A misdemeanor, which he said could still allow some prison time, but also allow for confiscation of property used in the fights.

Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, was among those who opposed that move, saying cockfighting is a "game to force these animals to fight to death as a form of gambling" and worthy of a felony. Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, added, "This is more of a gambling bill than an animal bill."




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.