Bill to Make Cockfighting a Felony Moves Forward

Published on March 06, 2014 at 12:22PM

A bill to make cockfighting a felony instead of just a misdemeanor is moving forward in the Utah Legislature. The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to advance SB112 to the House floor. It passed the Senate last month. Utah Humane Society officials called cockfighting a gruesome and bloody sport for people who enjoy watching animals suffer. But some game fowl breeders told the committee the law is vague enough that they could be penalized for raising birds for show. Democratic bill sponsor Sen. Gene Davis of Salt Lake City says Utah is the only Western state where cockfighting isn’t a felony. The sport is a misdemeanor on the first offense and a third-degree felony on the second offense.