Cockfighting a Traditional Sport, Says Richfield Resident

Published on March 10, 2014 at 10:52AM

A new perspective on cockfighting has surfaced from a Utah man who owns about 300 birds in Richfield. Jamen White is a fourth-generation cockfighter. His grandfather, who lives in Monroe, also has game fowl chickens. The Whites spoke with the Salt Lake Tribune, saying that cockfighting “is a traditional sport.” Jamen said it’s far more innocuous than stereotypes-populated by drug dealers, prostitution and general lawlessness-would suggest, and they don’t want to be lumped in with hardened criminals like murderers and rapists.

A bill before the Utah legislature however would increase the penalties for fighting game fowl from a class B misdemeanor to a class A. A second offense would result in a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The Humane Society of Utah supports the bill, describing cockfighting as a ruthless blood sport. Jamen White, however, says the stereotypes are wrong and cockfighting is something they have been doing for generations. The bill passed the Senate last month and is currently making its way through the Utah House of Representatives.