Fighting of cocks and other animals; increases penalty. (HB32)

Introduced By

Del. Riley Ingram (R-Hopewell)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Fighting of cocks and other animals; penalty. Increases the penalty for engaging in the fighting of cocks or other animals, except dogs, from a Class 3 to a Class 1 misdemeanor. Currently, the penalties only apply if (i) the fighting occurs for money, prizes, or anything of value, (ii) an admissions fee is charged, or (iii) wagering occurs. These conditions are removed. The bill also makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess, own, train, or sell cocks or other animals, except dogs, for fighting. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
12/04/2007Committee
12/04/2007Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 083901344
12/04/2007Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
01/17/2008Assigned ACNRsub: #1 Agriculture
01/18/2008Impact statement from DPB (HB32)
01/23/2008Stricken from docket by Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources

Comments

Bob Gibson writes:

Cockfighting bill to spur opposition
By Bob Gibson
Daily Progress political blogger

Del. Riley E. Ingram, R-Hopewell, may have found the right time and political atmosphere to overcome a previously immovable object in the General Assembly—opposition to legislation that would strengthen Virginia’s cock-fighting laws.

Then again, the former Hopewell mayor’s bid to get tough on cockfighting may suffer enough cuts to die on the floor along with previous bids to end bird bloodbaths, based on recent General Assembly history.

A barbaric blood sport, fighting chickens to the death has enough followers in rural Virginia that bills to criminalize it the way dog-fighting has been outlawed fall short of making their way out of the legislative ring.

Just ask Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle County, who had to drop anti-cockfighting provisions from a bill he had a few years back stiffening the state’s dogfighting laws.

Ingram is quarterbacking the effort to end cockfighting this year with his House Bill 32, which would criminalize the business of cockfighting as it makes a Class 1 misdemeanor out of an activity that now carries lesser fines only if betting is proven or admission is charged.

Ingram’s bill is summarized on Richmond Sunlight http://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2008/hb32/ as covering the “fighting of cocks and other animals; penalty. Increases the penalty for engaging in the fighting of cocks or other animals, except dogs, from a Class 3 to a Class 1 misdemeanor. Currently, the penalties only apply if (i) the fighting occurs for money, prizes, or anything of value, (ii) an admissions fee is charged, or (iii) wagering occurs. These conditions are removed. The bill also makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess, own, train, or sell cocks or other animals, except dogs, for fighting.”

The dog-fighting advocates are washed up in Virginia, so maybe it is time to add cockfighting to the list of banned barbarities.

Since other lobbies are weaker, the rabbit-fighting lobby may be of little use to the chicken-fighting advocates who, no doubt, will aim a sharp spur at Ingram’s bill.

Posted by Bob Gibson on 12/12 at 05:28 PM

william forren writes:

So, we have another animal rights politician,(funded or at least supported by the extreme animal rights group, the Humane Society of the United States)wanting to kill an age old rural tradition by using a Class 1 misdemeanor, just exactly what is that? Its a crime that punishes someone in jail for 1 year and a $2500 fine. A class 1 misdemeanor guidelines penalties for certain forms of child abuse, molestation, crimes against people, property damage, DUI, stalking (multiple offenses), vandalism, assault against family members, etc... A cockfighter does not deserve this label. Cockfighting may not be appealing to some, but who ask those type people to attend or be involved? I can assure you of this fact, if you have never been inside a poultry slaughter house, its much more inhumane than allowing three year old roosters to combat. Poultry birds live approx 8 weeks, some never seeing the light of day or actually living in any form of reality, are hung on a conveyor, heads cut off, dipped in boiling water before life leaves their body. Gamecocks are not forced to fight, as deceivers want you to believe, nor are they mistreated and crime is not rampant with cockfighting. I have attended cockfights all my life and never seen so much as a fight among the human attendants. These are all common misconceptions published by animal rights groups, their puppet politicians and chosen media outlets.. In America, there use to be an old saying, let the punishment fit the crime. A cockfighter is not and should not be placed in the same category as violent criminals. Last session, an attempt was made to create a felony law against cockfighting, the common lie used to advance the bill was that it was to protect Virginia from being flooded with out of state cockfighters and corruption. The law did not pass and Virginia was not flooded with out of state cockers. Besides, we now have a federal law in place to protect Virginia's state borders from anyone coming from a state where the sport is deemed illegal. States with common cockfighting laws as Virginia from Ohio down to Georgia and Mississippi, including neighboring states have refused recent attempts at stupid over-kill legislation against cockfighting. Keep one last note in mind, we have less severe laws protecting children from abuse, neglect and even potential careless gun ownership. How many people has cockfighting harmed? If humanity is being preached, then lets include all forms of animal use and not just pick on cockfighters. Whats this? Is it possible that humanity is decided by political contributions and powerful lobbyist? Think about it.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Here we go again -- bring on the out-of-state crazies!

Jules Hoatson writes:

Thank you, Rep. Ingram! It's about time someone stood up to this cruel and moronic practice. Most states banned cockfighting in the 1800's, but with Virginia's slap-on-the-wrist law, one might as well admit it's still legal here. Pathetic!

Thomas Townsend writes:

I'm not an "out of state crazy." I live in Sussex County, Virginia. There are several portions of this bill which strike me as dangerous. Criminalization of citizens of The Commonwealth for "possession of gamefowl" is a bit extreme. There are many breeds of chicken, the Old English Game as an example, that cannot be distinguished from their American Gamefowl counterpart by mere physical inspection. They look the same, are colored the same, and they are even required by the Standard of Perfection to have their combs, wattles and ear lobes trimmed in order to be considered for a prize in an exibition poultry show.

I can see the stormtroopers breaking up the Poultry Show at the Virginia State Fair to arrest all the boys and girls there, who show these birds, charging them with a Class 1 misdemeanor, for possession of gamefowl... how silly... Not to mention the thousands of Virginia residents who will instantly become criminals under that clause of the bill.

I am a poultry enthusiast. I raise many exibition breeds at my farm in Sussex County, and I vehemently protest the erosion of my rights in any form. This is obviously a case of the few (city folk, no doubt) trying to impose their will on we simple "country folk."

The law, as currently written, is sufficient to prosecute the criminal element engaged in any cockfighting endeavor. Animal cruelty laws have also been applied in cockfighting cases in Virginia where applicable. Making me and perhaps tens of thousands of others like me, who have never been to a cockfight, a criminal for having a few chickens is the crime here...

I respectuflly submit that we are troubled by far more important issues in Virginia than a few chicken fights. Let's focus on the violent crime, drugs, education, our roads, urban sprawl, loss of habitat for our wildlife and stop worrying whether someone raises a few chickens.

Ron writes:

HB32, if enacted into law, will implement a far too severe penalty for citizens of Virginia. After all, we are talking about chickens, not crimes against humans. To pass HB32 would elevate crimes against animals to a higher level than many violent offenses against human beings. Do you think that fighting chickens is worse than domestic violence? Do you think it's worse than infected sexual battery? Parental kidnapping? Assault and battery by mob? I do not! Additionally, we already have a law against cockfighting on the books. It is working; witness the recent raids in Virginia. People are being prosecuted under existing laws.

But what about our great Virginia heritage that Politicians are always talking about? Are you forgetting that at our very earliest settlements in Virginia, such as Williamsburg, there was a cockpit? Have you forgotten that great Virginians like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson raised and fought gamecocks? It is in their papers, both at Mount Vernon and Monticello. Would we sentence the Father of Our Country to a year in jail? And indeed a great, great majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence along with him! I can see responses now saying, "Those people also kept slaves". Well that is true; the difference is that slaves didn't want to be slaves; gamefowl love to fight!

As far as cruelty, it is true that cockfighting is a blood sport, just like hunting and fishing. The difference is that 50% or more of gamecocks survive their contests and go on to live a pampered secure life. This is not so for animals that are hunted or fished for by man; close to 100% of those targeted are killed or seriously wounded. Incidently, being put to death is the first thing that happens to these marvelous fowl as soon as they are "rescued" by the Humane Society or one of their related organizations under the guise that they are "made to fight" (one can't make a fowl fight if they don't want to), they are given steroids or other drugs to "make them super aggressive" so they can't be "rehabilitated" and must be killed (rehabilitated to what? Also, drugs do not make gamefowl aggressive, nature has taken care of that; it is natural to them to be aggressive toward other male fowl). However, fowl are given performance enhancement supplements just as human athletes are.

We need to spend our scarce resources in a prioritized manner and on more serious crimes that actually have human victims and on those items that will help our citizens, not harshly penalize them for minor, victimless activities. Crimes like murder, robbery, terrorism, rape, and items like education, immigration reform, health care reform and so forth need our attention more so than chickens and some potential small time gambling. I say small time because of the headlines from last year's cockfighting raid at Boydton, VA where it was reported that $40,000 was seized and 145 people arrested. Great headlines for the Humane Society of the United States, but that’s only an average of about $275.00 per person - and we know that those folks were not going to bet every penny in their pocket. Hardly a gambler’s Mecca! As far as illegal gambling is concerned, I just heard on television that about $480,000,000 would be gambled on the Super Bowl! Wow! That’s more money than would be gambled on cockfights all over the United States in the next 100 years!

Also consider the economic impact of HB32 enactment. There are thousands of people in Virginia involved in the raising (and for some perhaps the fighting) of game fowl. Such a severe penalty for a victimless crime will result in many legitimate breeders being wrongfully accused of being cockfighters simply because they raise gamefowl with combs, wattles and spurs trimmed (a show standard for showing gamefowl). With thousands of people in Virginia raising gamefowl a significant amount of sales tax revenue is accrued to the Commonwealth simply from the sales tax on the feed. Add to that the tax from money spent on wire and lumber and other hardware, flock vitamins, antibiotics and other medications, gas for transportation, wages for helpers, etc., and we have a very severe economic impact on this states tax revenues and many small business owners. The states of Arizona and Oklahoma recently passed such laws and many small farmers and small business owners went out of business and onto the unemployment rolls, sadly having to depend on welfare - more adverse economic impact on the state and individual hardship for citizens. Not to mention that for each individual incarcerated one year will cost Virginia taxpayers another $25-30,000. In those other states, many small towns which were dependent on the local cockers, as they are known, gas stations, motels and restaurants are now closed and the buildings boarded up. None of this includes the loss to the small farmers of the Commonwealth who sell their birds as an agricultural enterprise to people in other states or countries. The numbers then become large indeed.

Again, we do not need to put chickens on a par with human beings in our criminal justice system. Think about it!!!

Cross Creek writes:

I am a member of AGFS, American Game Fowl Society, and there are standards for American Game Fowl there as well. With HB 32 I feel the crime does not fit the time first off. Also to put the value of a chicken over a Human life is ridiculous. I work in a Maximum security prison, I know our Prisons and Regional Jails are over filled to the point that people are sleeping on the floors of the jails due to lack of bed space. Virginia has far more issues they need to address than with HB 32. The drug problems in Virginia are at an all time high, along with many other crimes against persons. I would hate to think what our Reginal Jails would look like if they filled them with Game Fowl owners. It would be ashame to have to release real criminals just to fill our jails up with Game Fowl owners. Virginia has a law that perfectly covers the issue with Game Fowl owners and it is VA Code 3.1-796.125. There is a Federal Bill in place, HR 137, which protects Virginia borders as politicians used as the main reason to pass SB 1190 last session. So can someone please explain why we have the need for HB 32 ? The animal right groups such as HSUS and PETA have loaded some politicians pockets so much they are obligated to push thier agenda rather than what the people of the State of Virginia really want. I think it is time our politicians work 100% for the people they are obligated to by the Constitution and thier oath of office rather than special interest groups that have a radical agenda to do away with any type of animal use. I fought for a Free country twice and I feel we need to keep it free. If all these special interests groups really want to help our country, train thier members and send them to Iraq and bring home and give our soldiers a break. This way they will see first hand what generations of our families have had to do to keep our country Free, and they will appreciate the rights for Americans more and quit trying to take them away. Do away with HB 32, it is a bill that is being pushed by the special interests groups and not the voting citizens of Virginia.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

If we can't fight our chickens, dogs, and knife-wielding monkeys to the death for sport, the terrorist have already won.

Cross Creek writes:

Check out HB656, is goes beyond what this bill is attempting to do.

CCGF writes:

Yes, here we go again.

Euthanasia - ( greek, good death) - is the practice of killing in painless or minimally paintful way for merciful reasons to end suffering.
1.) It can be done with inhalent agents, non-inhalents "lethal injections", and physical methods. Pets are almost alwaysuthanized via letal injection, typically a very high dose of barbiturate anaesthetic. Unconsciousness, respiratory, and cardiac arrest follows rapidly, usually within 30 seconds to several minutes.
2.) It can be done with a vacuum pump. No drugs are used to ease the process. This is generally regarded as a harder death than being "put to sleep" with a sedative or narcotic. This is often the most often used by animal shelters with low placement rates, its the fate of animals nobody wants.
It makes no sense to me that all the animal rights activist folks can come on here call chicken fighters cruel, moronic, etc... I posted this last year about this time and my question still hasn't been answered.
For the ones that say cockfighters are primitive, barbaric, etc... How do you justify the above practice ? Also, I have heard that confisacated gamefowl are place in sealed barrels with vehicle exhaust pumped in. What kind of "humane death" do you call that?

For the ones on here that want to name call, if cockfighting is to be considered in-humane, barbaric, cruel, moronic (just to name a few words used on this forum.) How can confiscating animals and killing them by whatever means be considered acceptable ?

Basically, cockfighting is considered in-humane and cruel by certain groups of people. Yet the same groups of people consider euthanization of the same innocent animals humane and just. Hmmmmmm.....

I know several game breeders that have roosters and hens on there yards that are 8-9 years old (some older) It takes good feed, care and love of the animals to accomplish this.

Gerbera writes:

Yet the same groups of people consider euthanization of the same innocent animals humane and just.

How do you know this?

I personally would love to see the little guys free to run around and peck whatever they want (with I imagine would not be other birds). Instead, they have to live the luxurious life of good food and pending death that cockfighting "enthusiasts" provide them.

Gerbera, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

It'd be nice to finally see this go through...if only to stop the influx of stupidity on this site.

Cross Creek writes:

These bills are written, pushed and supported by groups such as HSUS,and PETA anlong with other Animal Rights Actovist Groups. Listed below is links to the truth about these groups. I had posted here in length but moderators must not have wanted the people of Virginia to read up on the truth about these groups. The fact here is that most Virginians are not pushing to pass these bills in question.

1. HB32, a class 1. misdemeanor
2. HB1057, class 6 felony
3. HB656, class 6 felony
4. SB592, a class 6 felony

Bills HB1057, HB656 and SB592 are written almost identical, this should be fact enough that someone is writing the bills and pushing for our polititians to get them passed.

HSUS, Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037
Phone 202-452-1100 | Fax 202-258-3051 | Email wpacelle@hsus.org

Click on this link to learn more about what they really are and stand for in reference to trying to push these bills on the people of Virginia.

http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/oid/136

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
501 Front Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone 757-622-7382 | Fax 757-622-0457 | Email info@peta-online.org

Click on this link to learn more about what they really are and stand for in reference to trying to push these bills on the people of Virginia.

http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm

Now if the moderators would kindly not delete this one I have only posted the link where people can go read up on factual information from the Center for Consumer Freedom.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

"Cross Creek," you have been warned repeatedly, publicly and by e-mail, about posting material to Richmond Sunlight in violation of federal copyright law, as well about posting identical comments repeatedly (spamming). No more warnings will be issued.

David Cruz writes:

Gerbera You obviously are the one who is mis-informed. Chickens fight whether or not they are Game Fowl. I have bigstalk chickens and they fight every day. Chickens also should be trimmed to prevent frostbite in harsh winters. For all you Alternative lifestyle folk who support animal life over human life and rights you all will be the ones cryin when your rights are being stripped away. Once they start in on the smaller rights, the bigger ones will be next and you all are too stupid to realize this.

Waldo you only banned Cross Creek for tellin the truth and maybe that would cut in on your bribery money coming from PETA and the Humane Society.

CCGF writes:

I was watching one of these fine organzation at work, just a couple nights ago on the Animal Planet. They were conficating animals from an owner, throwning them in sacks, by the wings, breaking feathers, etc.... and duck taping them closed. And they (the humane society)on national television, said "that they would be HUMANELY EUTHANIZED." Plus, it appeared that they were throwing several in each sack. I'm sure by they time they got them to where ever they were going to kill(oops, euthanize)them they were pretty messed up.

And as for turning the little fellas lose to peck what they want. You should do that sometime. You'd see what these animals live for. I'll give you a little experiment to try: Raise four gamecocks totally separated from each other till they are one year old. On their first birthday take one bird to each corner of your yard and turn them lose. Trust me you will see them do more than "peck" And it will be without any "special training," just pure instinct.

I say let Cross Creek post the truth. Let both side argue their points. As long as the source is posted I see nothing wrong with it.

Still the un-answered question. Death at the hands of "cockfighting enthusiast" that takes unconditional care of their fowl or "euthanasia enthusiast" that wants to save the poor birds by KILLING them dozens at a time. Whats the freaking difference? The difference is that one everybody wants to talk about and ban. The other is one that nobody want to admitt and push under the rug. Guessing, I'd say if the cockfighters and the humane society had a race to see who killed the most gamefowl - the humane society would win.

David Cruz writes:

And by the way Waldo (some name) I'm not an out of state Crazie. I live right here in VA, and Cockfighters have more honor, respect, and family tradition then you people ever will. Now with that being said, I suppose you think it's ok that Gay men can adopt a boy child and raise him to be Gay as well, and I suppose you think it's fine that Christianity is taken out of the schools, and you wonder why kids go to schools with guns and blow each other away? It's because no one cares anymore for human rights, only animal rights and Gay rights. I tell ya you people are wacked.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Waldo you only banned Cross Creek for tellin the truth

No, he was removed from the site because he refused to heed three warnings in the past year regarding posting lengthy copyrighted passages repeatedly. I don't have enough minutes in my life to deal with people crapflooding this site with copyrighted text.

Gary Patsy writes:

First I am an out of state person.( not crazy)
Waldo, Do you really feel that your state's lawmakers have done all they can do to keep your kids, fam. friends safe,insured,enough well paying jobs in otherwards all of Virginia's problems and concerns. To spend more taxpayer's money on fowl crime's while you still have other major human crimes going on and agree with it, pretty much say's you feel an animal is the same as a human. If you really feel that way, just who is the crazy one. The Virginia legislators should wise up and ignore the special intrest groups and take care of it's people's problems, as you surely can't collect tax's off a chicken! Regards Gary

john d. bullock writes:

the ARA nuts PETA&HSUS's money have a lot of politicians doing their bidding.
if this bill goes through it only means they got a few more on their gravy train

CCGF writes:

I thought people could express their feelings & concerns about these bills freely on this site. Guess thats not the case. In every post I have read Cross Creek has stated whether it was his personal opinion or if it wasn't he noted his source. Before you know it, the only ones that will be on this site is all the tree huggers.
Down with:
HB32
HB1057
HB656
SB592

Scott writes:

I guess we have took care of the homeless,the elderly,prescription drugs our war going on and all other problems,now some see fit to waste our tax payers money on this.I am amazed what we are wasting our money on.God put man to domain over all animals,nuff said!The key here is man first,when we have our problems solved then move on.I wish whomever would quit wasting tax payers money on this.I am opposed to hb32,hb1057,bb656,sb592.

Gerbera writes:

Why do you people assume we have an "alternative lifestyle" or are getting bribes from PETA?

It's because no one cares anymore for human rights, only animal rights and Gay rights.

Where has anyone said that they don't care about human rights? It IS possible to care about human rights and still object to animals being used for a bloodsport.

God put man to domain over all animals

I was taught that we have a responsibility to be stewards, not to exploit small creatures for sick entertainment.

mark marsh writes:

Just what this country and state needs.....more "feel good" laws. I am amazed at the punishment that can be doled out for alleged "animal abuse." In many many cases it can far exceed the punishment for such crimes as assault,rape,and sodomy.....that is a fact. I see no harm in letting gamecocks fight if they want to. After all it is their God given instinct to do that so why should they be deprived of it? Because the Animal Rights Nuts ay so? If you take the time and read the agenda of groups such as PETA and the HSUS you will see that their true agenda is CONTROL...over animals and government. Look how many millions of dollars they take in every year and how very little is spent on animal welfare. 90% of their money goes for political lobbying(buying politicians votes!) and to finance their own high spending lifestyle.
So what if gamefowl are allowed to fight? I'll bet thousands of cockfights take place every year and you are not even aware of it,much less affected by it. Seems to me the government could be making money by taxing the fights....they tax everything else! Whatever happened to live and let live? This is a stupid law to enact,much less enforce!!

LARRY writes:

Apparently when I wasn't looking Va solved all of our problems and can now concentrate on chickens and jay walking. No harm has been done in the last 200 years without these stupid laws. If its not broke please don't fix it. Tell peta, hsus and all other domestic terrorists to take a hike.

cigar writes:

this is so crazy that the humane soc. and peta
can brain wash so many people... we barely can
house the criminals where are we going to house these witch hunt people that is what this is about
next it will be hunting then fishing....

wake up!!!!!

Cross Creek writes:

HB32 addresses a few areas that concerne me and I am 100% in opposition to this bill as I feel VA Code 3.1-796.125 correctly deals appropriately with game fowl.
First off Crime vs. Time: Purposed bill increase the penalty to class 1 misdemeaner, meaning up to 12 months in jail and a fine. Visit the local or Reginal Jails in your area, I bet you will find they are over crowded already. There are actually not enough room to lock up all the drug dealers for starters. The average cost to house an inmate in jail or prison is $25,000.00 per year incarcerated. This to me is unjustifiable when it is going to cost the tax payers all this money to house someone who has not committed any crimes against persons or property. The current penalty is up to a $500.00 fine, to me this makes sense as it take money from the wrong doers and not the tax payers. It also leave bed space in our jails for people they were originally built for.
The wording to Own or Possess with intent to fight really strikes a nerve with alot of game fowl breeders and cockers, because honestly they all will fight, even the hens. Does this not set us up for the kill so to speak? I feel the only justifiable way to link someone to doing wrong according to the guidelines of this law is to catch them in the act as they do with any other law. Would it be fair to hold gun makers responsible if someone goes out and shoots someone? If Budwiser produces beer and people go out drink it and drive drunk? We need to hold accountable only the people that commit the crimes.

cigar writes:

if we make these idiots that come up with these kind of worthless bills and use time, money and
what ever else.... these congress people need to be impeached....

Waldo Jaquith writes:

these congress people need to be impeached....

Well, you should really call your congressman and explain that. Your voice must be heard in Washington!

Cross Creek writes:

I personally made several calls to day both to Delegates and to Senators. Some said the phones were ringing off the hook about these bills and others said I was the first one they had heard from. Not trying to be pushy but if these bills are gonna effect you in anyway I would suggest you get off your can and let the Senators and Delegate hear your thoughts. Because once they pass one of these it is all over but the fat lady singing, and I don't care to hear that, I would rather hear Waldo sing.

Hatchman writes:

This is absolutely ridiculous.. Whether it's Demobrats or Repulicons... they are absolutely corrupted by the humane society and peta.. I feel sorry for these delegates. They are just a bunch of puppets... You delegates are voted to you position to get this country safe and productive. A chicken fight will not help you accomplished what you are voted for. We are in the USA not Russia... Whatta shame... I will encourage the whole Asian community not to vote on any of these puppets... I'm currently the HIGH RANKING STAFF FOR THE ASIAN COMMUNITY OF vIRGINIA. Take my word... it will happen.

Cross Creek writes:

If you have that kind of pull, maybe you need to have them call the people, I feel that would make a big difference.

Cross Creek writes:

Gerbera, what does that have to do with legislation? I think the moderators have stressed they won't tolerate attacking type statements that are off subject. Please stick to the topic at hand.

Cross Creek writes:

That was in reference to this post of hers:

Gerbera, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

It'd be nice to finally see this go through...if only to stop the influx of stupidity on this site.

Alex G writes:

Animals should not be put in the same level with humans. Animals were created to be used by humankind and not to be treated or given equal status as humans. Animals played a major role in the survival of humankind. From the time that early humans survived on hunting for food and shelter using animal skins and bones for weapons, up to now we still rely on them for food by raising them in farms, and advancement of medicine thru controlled testing on animals. We give our children milk to stay healthy as people from early generations did. That is why we are all here today. If those were all evil deeds as ARA and PETA claims, we should have been extinct as a human race by now, by hunger and diseases. And because we are all here by utilizing the animals to survive, shall we consider ourselves a product of an evil and shameful past and needs to cleanse our soul? By hugging the animals, talking to them, sleeping with them and live equally with them to redeem our soul? In a short and precise description, to live like an animal? We can do that to our pets, maybe. But to the animals in general, I don't think so. I don't have the same feelings and sympathy to my pet dog and to some other dogs that I see roaming around.

Cockfighting is an old tradition and sports from Asia to Europe. And a lot of people whom we considered the pillar of civilization were cockfighters. The Sumerians, Alexander the Great, the English and French royalties, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Jackson, and so many more. They were lawmakers that laid the foundation and put order in our society. Were they evil? Some cockfighters are good and honorable, and some are crook. Anywhere you go, there are always just and unfair people in every undertakings.

To some people cockfighting is just a noble sport and take pride in their warriors and don't care about the money, to some it is pure gambling, just like in horse racing. Competitive sports, including the bloody sports like bullfighting, cockfighting and hunting is just a vent to release our primal needs in blood sports, dating back from gladiatorial days, when people are pitted against people and animals, with cheering and clapping audiences around them, driven more by instinct rather than by reason. Without these vents, people have the tendency to erupt in violence and kill each other. Even so, despite our intelligence, we still have a tendency to harm other people thru war and other violence.

In a biblical point of view, when Peter complained to Jesus, He told him to kill and eat.

Animals are not human to a sane and civilized society. They are food and tools to meet and satisfy our needs.

As to the ARA and PETA, I'm just wondering what they are eating, wearing and taking as medicines, same to their kids. Plants have feelings too!

We really need to put our brains in the right spot to think right. By the way, if you see a person hugging ang kissing and talking to an animal, IT'S NOT ME!

YELLOWJACKET writes:

I have personally heard no tax paying citizen state that cockfighters should be felons or guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor... It seems that the politicians pushing these bills are working toward a major political contribution... Its communistic to pass laws such as this.... If this legislation passes, cockfighting will become a more serious offense than driving under the influence of alcohol or some forms of child molestation... IDIOCY AT ITS BEST...

Hatchman writes:

Cross Creek,
We did that last year and we won the battle. Now it's a totally different people that's proposing these bills. We will try our best. We don't have the money that PETA and HSUS have but we will raise our concern. We raised funds to help the community here in Richmond. We feed the hungry people when opportunity comes... what does PETA and HSUS does? Kill animals because they are over crowded.

CCGF writes:

Wonder how long it will be before it will be a felony to own pit bulls period. When raised & trained correctly they are GREAT dogs. My pit bull is 8 yrs old & has free roam of the farm. He is loved by everyone that knows him. Well, just about everyone, the chicken eating varmits don't care about him all that much.

Cross Creek writes:

This bill was assigned to sub-committee today. Check the LIS web site.

Cross Creek writes:

Could the be a good or bad sign? Would any knowlegable person on the subject please care to elaberate on it for us?

Cross Creek writes:

It is going to be very interesting to see what the sub-committee will come up with dealing with the bills.

With as many bills as they are in committee right now dealing with these same topics, it would only make sense that they do away with HB 656 HB 1057 and SB 592 and address each sub-section appropriately. HB1465: Dog fighting; violations include attending such fights, this bill covers dogs. HB32: Fighting of cocks and other animals; increases penalty, covers game fowl and other animals. Even though I do not agree with any one of these bills, it would only make sense to focus the effort of our legislators on the subjects at hand not try to use the add everything in one bill method that most times slips important stuff and details past our legislators. I will never support anything that the Humane Society of the United States has a hand in or any other such group who have alternative motives. I also feel that why add jail and prison sentences when fines hit the pockets of the offender not the tax payer. I could even understand if they added community service for the ones who violate VA Code 3.1-796.125 in its current form.

ron writes:

Waldo: I think I have found your "out-of-state crazies". They are sharing the podium with our State Attorney General, supported by our Governor. They are powerful, monied, out-of-state special interest groups whose stated goal is, "to abolish all animal agriculture in America". Last I checked, Virginia is primarily an agricultural state. DUH! What is wrong with our leaders? On stage, pandering to out-of-state organizations those who would economically cripple our Commonwealth - milking a few more drops out of the Michael Vick publicity cow for just a little bit more political mileage??? I used to think our leaders had at least a half a brain, but after this display I think they have none! What turds!

CCGF writes:

I just through watching UFC 80 Rapid Fire at the theater. You should have seen BJ Penn beat Joe Stevenson down, opening up one of the worse cuts I have ever seen. Stevenson was bleeding, spurting blood so badly that both men were covered. It was a pretty grusome sight seeing the pain in Stevenson's blood covered face as he tapped out from Penn's rear naked choke. The rest of the card held some pretty brutal & bloody battles as well. Now, thats what I call a blood sport. I can only imagine how much gambling goes on at these events.
And we as human beings are more worried about animals than ourselves. I like a thousands of other people all over the world can't wait for UFC 81.

Tim McCormack writes:

@CCGF: The difference is that game cocks are bred, raised, and/or induced to fight to the death. The humans involved are not: They have chosen to do so in full knowledge of the consequences, and it is not to the death.

CCGF writes:

Oh, guess your right I forgot about the double standard. I guess what puts money in the the "big boys" pockets can't be considered barbaric and inhumane. Its like dog racing, is it natural for those dogs to run their guts out chasing a fake bunny ? If those race horses love to run so much why are the jockys beating the crap out of them around the track ? Gamefowl are not trained or induced to fight, they will fight to the death whether they are in the pit or free roaming out on the farm.
Are people so worried about how barbaric chicken fighting is that they have forgotten what's going on around them. Drugs, gang violence, rape, child molestation, domestic violence, homeless / starving people, etc... Its amazing what our kids can see on TV now days. Shows with extreme violence, promoting gay / lesbian lifestyles, sex, crime, etc... For example, just last night a was flipping through the channels and the Oxygen channel had QVC type show with nothing but sex toys. Oh, don't forget about shows like "Talk Sex with Sue". Its hard to believe that our legislators are more worried about roosters fighting & testcles hanging from somebodys trucks, than a lot more serious things are at hand.
I know its another bill, but our kids don't have to see fake testicles hanging from a truck hitch, they can just turn on the TV in our homes and see dildos & butt plugs, etc...

Tim McCormack writes:

Hey now, don't be pushing your anti-sex views on the rest of us. :-) Besides, that's a separate topic. If you want to ban discussion of sex from TV so unsupervised kids won't be exposed, lobby your senator.

If gamefowl were truly, naturally the bloodthirsty critters you claim them to be, then they would long since have killed each other in nature. Since they haven't, that means they are bred that way. Hence my claim that they are bred for killing. Some people find this unacceptable.

That's what this bill is about: Whether raising and breeding animals for blood sport is acceptable.

Cross Creek writes:

Tim McCormack writes:
If gamefowl were truly, naturally the bloodthirsty critters you claim them to be, then they would long since have killed each other in nature.

You have to remember that Game Fowl have been in the hands of humans for hundreds of years. They have been individually housed to keep from them exterminating each other. But it is a known fact if you incubated 100 eggs and put them on a farm when hatched and grown to atleast the double fist size with no parental or human influence they would kill each other off. If out of the 100 eggs 50 were roosters once they reach about a year old the process would begin until nature takes it course. God created them with a spur which grows out to a needle point and is very sharp, I have been hit by them in the pens like this and had to go to the hospital. Keep that in mind, they will kill each other with naked heels, thier god given weapon for protection. I have even owned hens that you could not put another hen with or the same thing would happen as well. If they were not entended to fight, which all chickens will our almighty father would not have equipped them with razer sharp ice pick type spurs. I know I am constantly trimming my game fowls spurs so if they happen to get to each other minimal damage is down, also minimal damage if one were to hit me while getting from a cage.

CCGF writes:

I know perfectly what this bill is about. I was just trying to make point. Believe me brother, I have no anti-sex problems. And I have no un-supervised kids as far as that goes either. The point was that a lot of people in this great country we live in are more worried about passing stupid laws like this one or outlawing truck nuts, just name a few when there are more serious issues at hand.
I'm also, not trying to flame anyone. I've been booted once I'm tring to behave & voice my opinions like everyone else. Peace.

Jackie Hutson writes:

Gerbera would like to see the little fellas run around and peck whatever they want? I use to have four cocks and fifteen hens that I had to keep down the bug population on fifteen (15) acres. I woke up Cristmas morning - had four cocks - by NOON I had ONE (1). And the three (3) didn't die by drinking KOOLAID!!! And they weren't thrown in a "pit" and they didn't have ANYTHING tied to their legs and they weren't on drugs and NOBODY asked them or MADE them do what they did!!!

signal writes:

Good for you Del Ingram. I hope it passes

Cross Creek writes:

HB 32 Fighting of cocks and other animals; increases penalty.
01/23/08 House: Stricken from docket by Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources by voice vote

This could be a good sign for this bill.

~loving wife of chicken fighter~ writes:

Since it didn't pass the committee then what does this mean? Does it go further or does it not?

Cross Creek writes:

This bill has been defeated, but it is the lesser of the 4 evils, 3 felony bills are still out in committees.

t.c. writes:

thanks for that cross creek, maybe the others wiill be not pass either

Rev. Aldridge writes:

Jackie Hutson writes:

Gerbera would like to see the little fellas run around and peck whatever they want? I use to have four cocks and fifteen hens that I had to keep down the bug population on fifteen (15) acres. I woke up Cristmas morning - had four cocks - by NOON I had ONE (1). And the three (3) didn't die by drinking KOOLAID!!! And they weren't thrown in a "pit" and they didn't have ANYTHING tied to their legs and they weren't on drugs and NOBODY asked them or MADE them do what they did!!!

Rev. Aldridge writes:

I also had free range, game fowl and a peacock that I used to help control ticks, bugs, etc. They were beautiful birds. Naturally they assume a pecking order, and in the wild, they will certianly challenge each other for dominance. This will happen every so often, maybe even on a Christmas morning. This has no comparison to tethering that animal in a small cage, culling every year, tieing razor blades & stainless steel gaffes and getting into a sleezy pit, pushing them face to face together and sit back and enjoy them killing eachother. I have known cocksters, and you know what im talking about. When a protected bird such as an owl, hawk, yes and even an eagle kills one of their fighting birds, they will put a jaw trap next to the body and kill that precious animal when it comes back the next night to finish the rest of its meal. This is as a repugnent part of Virginia history as slavery was. You folks need to get over it, and find a new hobby. God bless you, and continue to raise show birds. My children and I love to look at them at the county and state fair. The true show bird breeders should have no problem with this bill. Only those sadistic people who torture animals for fun and profit would object to this humane bill.

meg writes:

I could not be more disappointed in our state. Post Michael Vick, we still cannot get a bill to increase penalties for those who torture innocent creatures for sport through committee? Shame on you!

Claire Ward writes:

Meg-

There are two equivalent bills (SB592 and HB656) that have been passed by the their original legislative body and are now being considered by the other body. These bills propose penalties equal to or greater than HB32. No reason for disappointment yet.

Cross Creek writes:

meg writes:

I could not be more disappointed in our state. Post Michael Vick, we still cannot get a bill to increase penalties for those who torture innocent creatures for sport through committee? Shame on you!

I would feel just the opposite, because there are already laws in place to deal with people who do wrong with these animals in their own classes. I am concerned with Crime versus Time, and I do not feel our laws need changed from their current form. Dog fighting is already a class 6 felony in Virginia and different other forms have their own penalties as well. We cannot keep locking up people in prison over animals of every existence when we are not even locking them up when they do wrong to humans. We need to prioritize our laws, and I don't feel an animal’s value is more than a human in any form or fashion. Fines, community service, there are better methods of punishment than making everything people do wrong a felony. Would you be disappointed if they made it a class 1 felony for anyone who did anything wrong to animals and gave them the death penalty behind it? There has to be parameters and limitations to what our laws allow on the subject of penalties and punishment.

How would you feel if you were sexually assaulted by someone with an infectious disease and they only got a penalty of a class 1 misdemeanor which is up to 12 months in jail? Especially when you found out two elderly men were fighting roosters in a barn and got caught, both men got class 6 felony's and were sentenced up to 5 years in prison? People need to think about things like this with an open mind. We need laws that are consistent with crimes and penalties. Do you feel the life of an animal is more important than your life as a human? I don't, people need to get their priorities straight and quit pushing for harsher crimes for animals than crimes against humans.