Animal protection and fighting; broadens penalty. (SB592)

Introduced By

Sen. Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg)

Progress

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

Description

Animal protection and fighting; penalty. Broadens the Class 6 felony applicable to the crime of dogfighting to the fighting of any animals, including cocks, and the possession of any materials intended to enhance the ability of animals to fight. Attending an exhibition of animal fighting or permitting a minor to become involved in animal fighting is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Animals that are the subject of such criminal charges may be forfeited to the locality, but the owner may post bond to retain his ownership interest and repossess the animals if the court issues a finding of not guilty. Law-enforcement officers would be permitted to conduct searches at any time upon the issuance of warrants. Currently, such officers may only conduct searches during the day. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

DateAction
01/09/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 080500806
01/09/2008Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/11/2008Impact statement from VCSC (SB592)
01/28/2008Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with amendments (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2008Rereferred to Courts of Justice
01/29/2008Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
01/30/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with amendments (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/01/2008Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2008Read second time
02/04/2008Reading of amendments waived
02/04/2008Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources amendments agreed to
02/04/2008Courts of Justice amendments agreed to
02/04/2008Engrossed by Senate as amended SB592E
02/04/2008Printed as engrossed 080500806-E
02/05/2008Impact statement from VCSC (SB592E)
02/05/2008Read third time and passed Senate (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2008Communicated to House
02/06/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB592E)
02/12/2008Placed on Calendar
02/12/2008Read first time
02/12/2008Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
02/20/2008Referred from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
02/20/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/29/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (21-Y 0-N)
03/03/2008Committee substitute printed 083281806-H1
03/04/2008Read second time
03/05/2008Impact statement from VCSC (SB592H1)
03/05/2008Read third time
03/05/2008Committee substitute agreed to 083281806-H1
03/05/2008Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB592H1
03/05/2008Passed House with substitute (86-Y 7-N)
03/05/2008VOTE: --- PASSAGE (86-Y 7-N)
03/06/2008House substitute agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N)
03/08/2008Enrolled
03/08/2008Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB592ER)
03/08/2008Signed by Speaker
03/10/2008Impact statement from VCSC (SB592ER)
03/11/2008Signed by President
03/12/2008Signed by Speaker
03/12/2008Signed by President
03/26/2008Impact statement from DPB (SB592ER)
03/27/2008G Approved by Governor-Chapter 707 (effective 7/1/08)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB656.

Comments

Waldo Jaquith writes:

A friendly tip: You reveal yourself make yourself look like an utter fool by accusing the House Majority Leader of being "paid off" for supporting a bill that you oppose. Shall we accuse you of being "paid off" by Marcus Vick? Doesn't it make more sense to assume that we simply disagree honestly?

Rev. Aldridge writes:

we didn't fill up our prisons with slave owners when we set the slaves free. Animal fighting is sick "SPORT" enjoyed by a few sick people. The time has come to put an end to this repugnant part of Virginia history.

Claire Ward writes:

It absolutely baffles me why anyone would object to this bill. Animal fighting is an abomination. Exposing children to the bloody spectacle of a dogfight serves only to teach them that its OK to be cruel. Take a tour of the prisons and see how many inmates were exposed to this type of violence as children. Then maybe we can talk.

Cross Creek writes:

Claire Ward writes:

It absolutely baffles me why anyone would object to this bill. Animal fighting is an abomination. Exposing children to the bloody spectacle of a dogfight serves only to teach them that its OK to be cruel. Take a tour of the prisons and see how many inmates were exposed to this type of violence as children. Then maybe we can talk.

Well Claire, lets talk, I have personally worked in a maximum security prison for over 15 years in which I have spoken to thousands of inmates. I have been doing studies for several years now and I have yet to find one inmate that says being exposed to culteral things had any influence on thier crimes. One of the biggest issues is drugs, our streets are full of them and this is where our focus should be. The other is family abuse or lack of family discipline. 75% or better of violent crimes are drug related in some way. Obviously you did not read the bill, as it is worded in a way to cover more than dog fighting. I personally have never attended a dog fight, but as a child I was exposed to game fowl by my grandfather who was a great man, a veteran of WWII and an outstanding citizen, he has since passed away and still to today you will not find one man or woman that knew him ever speak bad of him. Personally speaking for myself I am of the same mold and am very involved in the community especially with children and sports. I have been president of our local football league for many years now and have been vice-president over little league baseball in our area. I strive to be a positive role model for them, I try to help give alot of them guidance and lead them in the right direction in life so I don't have to see them later in thier life in our prisons. The reason is most of thier parents are strung out on drugs and pretty much alot of Virginian children are raising themselves so to speak. We need to be focusing more on the value of human life, a class 6 felony is less than one would recieve for child abuse. The only abomination I see is putting the value of a animal life over a human life, read the bible and you will plainly see. My biggest issue is Crime vs. Time and the right of ownership. I have fought for this country twice and as long as I am alive I will speak on and fight for what our constitution originally stood for. The special interest groups have destroyed our free country from the inside out. You and I beleave different as do most of the people in the US, but does that give us the right to force our views on other people. I have fought for freedom have you? I do what I feel is right in my heart and if I don't feel condemned by it then why should you condemn me. I do not care what my neighbor does as long as they do not try to force thier views on me. Do you realize we have people in regional jails sleeping on the floors because of lack of bed space? Do you realize if we put as much effort as special interest groups do on bills such as this one that maybe our streets would not be filled with drugs and violence? In 1992 Virginia prisons were in the 170000 numbers at the end of 2007 we are already in the 380000 numbers, do you realize that is an increase of 210000. This means that in 15 years we have encarcerated 40000 more inmates than we have from when numbers were started being kept for inmate identification (in 1965 they were using 080000 numbers)to 1992. We need to address the problem on our streets, locking people away in prisons have not solved the main problem. It costs Virginia over 30 thousand dollars a year to house 1 inmate and this money is paid by us the tax payers. In closing VA Code 3.1-796.125 serves as a proper crime vs. time for what this Delegate has tried adding on to this bill. They have also introduced HB32 which increases VA Code 3.1-796.125 to class 1 misdimeaner and the right to own or possess game fowl. Can you imagine what our jails will look like if they lock up every game fowl owner in Virginia? We will have to release real criminals to house these people who have owned chickens all thier lives and generations of thier families have as well. I have noticed that Southwest Virginia is not respesented on the committees as well, clearly someone from the rual areas should be on them to express the concerns of the people of Virginia and not the special interest groups.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

A friendly tip: You reveal yourself make yourself look like an utter fool by accusing the House Majority Leader of being "paid off" for supporting a bill that you oppose. Shall we accuse you of being "paid off" by Marcus Vick? Doesn't it make more sense to assume that we simply disagree honestly?

No Waldo I am not paid off by Marcus Vick, nor his brother Micheal Vick which is the one you probably meant to say. And I may have been out of line a bit by saying paid off, but I believe with all my heart this is a ARA written and backed bill. And yes I 100% totally disagree with all the new addition to the bill as it is plain to see as the nose on ones face that it is aimed at the game fowl owners of Virginia. Research SB1190 of the 2007 session alot of the same type of things were tried in that bill.

Rev. Aldridge writes:

This bill is not aimed at animal owners. It is aimed at amimal FIGHTING! Big difference my friend.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I believe with all my heart this is a ARA written and backed bill.

Nobody reading this has the slightest idea of the "ARA" is. I told you this a year ago, and I'll tell you again now -- by paranoidly accusing people of evil motives and utter ignorance, you only serve to convince people that you must be in the wrong, if only because you're so bafflingly angry at these shadowy, powerful, three-letter-acronymed organizations. I am a Democrat who would like very much to see this bill's sponsor (a Republican) removed from power, and even I feel defensive of him reading the foolishness you've written about him. The tack taken by you and your gang of chicken-fighters is doing great harm to your cause.

Cross Creek writes:

Rev. Aldridge writes:

This bill is not aimed at animal owners. It is aimed at amimal FIGHTING! Big difference my friend.

Read the bill in it's entirety my friend, you will see it is as I stated above. The hidden agenda of the ARA's is to do away with any use of animals, and yes even ownership.

Cross Creek writes:

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I believe with all my heart this is a ARA written and backed bill.

Nobody reading this has the slightest idea of the "ARA" is. I told you this a year ago, and I'll tell you again now -- by paranoidly accusing people of evil motives and utter ignorance, you only serve to convince people that you must be in the wrong, if only because you're so bafflingly angry at these shadowy, powerful, three-letter-acronymed organizations. I am a Democrat who would like very much to see this bill's sponsor (a Republican) removed from power, and even I feel defensive of him reading the foolishness you've written about him. The tack taken by you and your gang of chicken-fighters is doing great harm to your cause.

ARA = Animal Rights Actovists, groups such as HSUS, PETA along with several others. I am no FOOL as you state in any way Waldo, so please reframe from referring to me as foolish. Also who said I was a member of a gang or a chicken fighter. I belong to American Game Fowl Society, a group to help preserve all game fowl breeds. Freedom of speech, I can say what I feel is right and my view on anything, If what I stated above don't have some factual reasoning, why didn't they just stop by trying to pass HB32, instead of trying to tie last years agenda onto a dog fighting bill. People such as you and some of these politians want us game fowl owners to lay down and say nothing in response to these rediculous bills. Well since you remember last session you should remember that I won't lay down either and I will fight with every breath in me for what i beleave in. HB32 and HB656 contridict themselves with the penalty, 1 being a class 1 misdimeaner and the other being a class 6 felony. Both carry jail and prison terms and makes no sense to me when referring to Crime vs. Time. As far as Delegate Griffith, I plan on personally speaking with him very soon along with all the other Delegates of Virginia. Waldo, your opinions are just that as mine are mine, so give up on trying to belittle me on here to make yourself seem as a king or god type figure. I am a voting member of Virginia and I have the right to voice my opinion.

maximusfowl writes:

Is this all that you liberal candyasses do allday, is sit around behind your little gates and ruin the freedom of many american citizens? You people must not ralize that your elders used to be introduced into these sports, and they probly didnt intend on their family turning into little tree huggers like you!!! Thats the problem with all you infected people, is that you believe everything you here and are hoping for a perfect society, w....well thats not going to happen. why dont you all get your heads outta yer asses and think,,hmmmmmmmm, , why dont you walk into a prison, take a look there, all those people caged up getting raped and tortured and beatup everyday, and your thinking about dogs and roosters...why dont you focus on the more IMPORTANT things other than other peoples lifes in there hobbys and what they enyjoy.., just like your ancestors did before you totally disgusted the bloodline of them.....what you people dont realize, is that your not only taking away our freedom, but your freedom too..and your childrens childrens freedom too.just think about what i have said...and let the name AMERICA, HOME OF THE FREE, LAND OF THE BRAVE stay that way...beore we know it, itll be the law to wipe our asses with NATURAL HERBS ON A LEAF....oh, by the way...if you love the world so much, vote against BEEFstew, and BACON.

maximusfowl writes:

BETTER YET, VOTE AGAINST DOG POUND EUTHANIZATION AND THE HUNDREDS OF PERFECTLY HEALTHY CHICKENS DURING CHICKEN RAIDS!!!

maximusfowl writes:

and dont forget to throw away your LEATHER COUCHES AND YOUR GATORSKIN WALLETS AND YOUR RABBIT FOOT KEYCHAINS

YOUR ALL SHEEP !!!

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I belong to American Game >Fowl Society, a group to help preserve all game fowl breeds.

Are you telling me with a straight face that you do not fight chickens?

Freedom of speech, I can say what I feel is right and my view on anything

Actually, freedom of speech applies only to the federal and state governments. This is a private web server run by a private organization and, as such, you have no right to free speech here. But that's purely academic point. Your bizarre, repeated cries of "free speech!" are non sequiturs.

Cross Creek writes:

Waldo Jaquith it is obvious I strike a nerve with you. With a straight face I tell you exactly that, and I have a 15 year career with the State of Virginia that I would not damper for nothing in this world but my freedom. Anyone knows that with my position with the Commonwealth even a class 3 misdimeaner would destroy my career and bring it to a end. In years past I have been actively involved with gamefowl and the sport, but now I am a breeder and I plan to help preserve fowl. I attend AGFS poultry shows with my children now and I try to breed my fowl to the 2006 American Game Fowl Standards. In other words I try to breed perfect fowl the way the standards require. Also with a straight face can you tell me your not involved with any Animal Rights Group ? Because I personally think you are. Waldo Jaquith have you ever served your country in peace time or war time? I don't think you have so please go bark up some other tree as I feel you are targeting me for you personal enjoyment. I pesonally do not care what you think of me nor do I have anything to prove to someone like you. I stand for what I beleave in and I do not need some critic like you trying to intimidate me on a web site designed to discuss the very bills at hand. So in closing stick to discussing the bills they way the web site is designed to. As for free speech, I can say what I wish pertaining to the issue as long as I am not threatning anyone or making threatning statements. This web site does say this :Post a Public Comment About this Bill, and that is what I am doing.

§ 18.2-152.7:1. Harassment by computer; penalty.

If any person, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person, shall use a computer or computer network to communicate obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threaten any illegal or immoral act, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Gerbera writes:

I saw a short piece on the news about this bill the other day and was so pleased. How sad that people need a bill to tell them that hurting animals (or putting them in a situation where they feel threatened enough to attack) is wrong.

Cross Creek, we went over this last year...none of us are members of animal rights groups. We're just people who like to follow government affairs and like to comment on related events.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Wow. This dude is nuts. I can see he's a lost cause.

Cross Creek writes:

And the big question, why am I so worried about bills such as this one and HB32, well here it is. As a game fowl breeder I am subject to be accussed at anytime by anyone that I am doing wrong according to these new bills such as HB32 and HB656, at that time the HSUS comes and confinscates my fowl, the very fowl that I have been breeding for many years, some of these fowl my grandfather bred as well. Read every raid or confinscation of game fowl and you will know that all my fowl will be saved as the Animal rights groups say and euthinized. (I never have seen how they save them as they are always euthinized, do the research). I would be suspended from my job pending the outcome of my court case. I would hire a lawyer, spend thousands of dollars proving my innocents and in the end I still lost all my fowl, years and years of hard work. Why would I have to go through this ? These laws would take honest hard working citizens such as myself which have only had 1 infraction on my record, speeding, one time when I was 19 and in the military and make me a criminal until I proved my innocents. The court proceedings could take months and in the mean time I am not getting paid, loosing all my assets and starving my family due to a bill that makes no sense. Anyone that has ever had experience with the law knows that anyone can go and accuse anyone of committing a crime and they will be charged accordingly and the "prove your innocents" process starts. The old saying of Innocent until proven guilty is hog wash these days, it is guilty until proven innocent. That is why I am alway speaking on these issues, I feel I have the right to raise game fowl if I so choose, I welcome any veternarian to my breeding facility any time to check on my fowl as they are all in perfect health. But I will not ever approve of any radical animal rights group to ever step foot on my property willingly. Read both of these bills and see the wording and try to see what I see with the possiblities of being accused of something falsely. I envisioned years ago of serving my country, which I did and served in combat twice. I also envision giving the State of Virginia 30 years of my life and retireing at the ripe age of 50. At that time I have always envisioned myself and my grandchildren raising game fowl and showing them just as me and my granfather did when I was a child. These bills would open the doors for me to loose that and other than the great memories of him these gamefowl are the only thing left in this world that my grandfather and I enjoyed together. So in closing, yes these bill disturb me whole heartingly as I know how the judicial system is, I have a Masters in Criminal Justice/ Law Enforcement and realize our system has flaws as we are releasing people yearly that have been falsely accused. I agree we do not need any more bills concerning this issue, we have current laws in place that the crime vs. time is equal. Virginia Code 3.1-796.125 covers this issue properly when concerning game fowl.

A&M Veterinarian writes:

If an individual does not approve of cockfighting, they simply need not attend one. i am a veterinarian who is a director for region V of the national poultry improvement plan,(NPIP)partially sponsored by the USDA. I have visited literally thousands of farms of all types and will say this in all honesty:
I am not a cockfighter but my grandfather and father both were very active cockers. I grew up around gamefowl and have a Masters Degree from Texas A&M which includes extensively Poultry Health, studying under Professor Woods. The Gamecock and the typical barnyard chicken are very far removed from each other. A gamecock naturally fights to the death. He is not scared into it, nor is he forced to. It is ludicrous to believe that you can force something to fight that does not wish to do so. A Gamecock desires three things of life: sex, fighting and food. If all gamefowl were released immediately, they would fight until only one were alive. It woudl be much bloodier and less humane the natural way than it would with the steel gaffs attached to their legs. the gaffs that cockfighters use are designed to even the fight, as one cock will grow a more deadly set of natural bone spurs than another. The gaffs are also much cleaner and more humane. The propaganda put forth via media by peta and Humane society of the United states (neither of which operate a SINGLE animal shelter nor are affiliated in any way even via donations to your local "humane society") are that "razors" are strapped to their legs. they show pictures of the blades. the knies are only used in mexico and the Phillipine islands. There have been 14 cockfighting raids throughout the United States so fgar in 2008. Of those, a small amount of methamphetamine was found at one of them posessed by one person and a marijuana cigarrette was found at another. folks, you couldnt get that kind of results if you were to raid churches! I do pollorum and newcastle testing for the state, and i can say that i have yet to see anyone that takes as good of care as their animals as the cockers do. I am always greeted warmly by families who are still together with a good mother and father, the children seem to have a good work ethic, and there is an overall sense of unity and love throughout the household. I canot say the same of some of my apartment / cubicle elling friends. The special interest groups such as HSUS and Peta have been caught lying and stealingso many times it baffles me how anyone would still be blind enough to follow there distorted views. Go to activistcash.com and read all about them. Go look at the evidence! i also have worked in the political arena, and there are MANY "pay-offs" which take place openly every day. My brother in law is a lobbyist in Austin so yes friends, let me tell you that money buys votes. I know this first hand, ok. this counrty needs to be aimed at freedom. we should allow others to live as they choose providing they are not harming another human. 2nd timothy 4 tells all about this if you are a Christian. If not, great, you are free to be what you resolve to be, but allow everyone else the same priviledge! Let me also tell you this: The chickens you eat are treated MUCH worse than a gamecock! You are going to say "those are killed for food, and thats ok" You probably just said "thats right!" because you still havent opened your mind to even allow that maybe you should pay attention and learn the truth. If the problem is "what are we doing with the birds that die" then "they are kkilled for food" comes into play. That being the case, we would be seeing legislation demanding that dead gamecocks are eaten or donated to dogfood companies. But the problem is "they are killed" well, yes, but only half of them! the other half die of old age on frsh grass with hens around them being able to raise their chicks! (Male gamefowl help raise young chicks while in leghorns etc only the female does and the father will sometimes even kill the chicks) the half that die, freely chose to fight. The cocker makes sure that it is done fairly, with the cocks weighing the same and being given equal weapons. The cok that dies was also two years old and ad lived a pampered life. the cickens you eat are pumped full of steroids and groth hormone and slaughtered by a two hundred pound butcher with a knife or an electric saw after living for only 6 weeks on a wire floor caked and covered by their own feces in standing room only after being de-beaked and de-clawed! Honestly which would you rather be? My father and grandfather have fought in 4 wars in this country between them, giving atotal of 39 years to military service, only to be disgraced with legislation like this. they are being slapped in the face by the very same people who they put their lives on the line to protect! Shame on those who lack loyalty! here is something else to ponder, if spca, peta, hsus etc really care about the life of the gamecock, why do they kill them every time they steal them from the owner? They also kill the females and babies which do not fight to the death! Dont say "its the humane way" because it isnt. its not humane to drown fowl in their water bowls or to let them fight each other in a gas chamber until they die as was done in TN. It is always more humane to allow the animal to live a good life than to kill it. if he does not want to fight, he will not. dont kill him because of what he is. her is beautiful. He stands for courage and honor and integrity. Something the special interest groups have none of! live and let live.

Cross Creek writes:

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Wow. This dude is nuts. I can see he's a lost cause.

No Waldo it is people such as myself that still beleive in standing up for thier rights.I fought and sacraficed years of my life for them, so no I am not a lost cause, I am open for valid discussion but not the tactical ways you are trying to. As far as being nuts, well I am of perfect mental health even considering I was serving my country at the age of 17 and served 4 years as a Army Ranger in 2 different conflicts "Operation Just Cause" Panama, and "Desert Shield/Storm" Middle East. Also considering I have work consistantly for over 15 years in a Maximum Security Prison and currently am a supervisor of over 10 years. Ask yourself, what have you done for your country or you beloved state lately? I personally have sacraficed my life as I know it, but when my career comes to an end I plan on being able to raise my game fowl and enjoying my grand children. This is the American Dream as I know it and have been raised to know. This is my family Heritage and I will no sit by and let anyone take that away from me without a good hard legal fight.

Jasmine writes:

A & M you make some very valid points and have really changed the way I look at this. I do not like cockfighting, but I am also not legally required to go to one. Tthey are not my chickens to control. now, I live in an apartment and work in a cubicle but we are happy. LOL

Gerbera writes:

CC, I just read the bill and it doesn't say anything about owning show animals. It very clearly defines cruelty and torture at the very beginning. If you aren't mistreating your birds, I don't think this bill would affect you at all.

I don't know why I'm bothering...I'll stop now.

Cross Creek writes:

A&M Veterinarian I commend you on your honesty and speaking from a personal and profession stand point. People such as yourself are welcome to my farm anytime. If the rest of America would only open thier eyes and realize the truth that has been spoken in your post along with others that have made the same statements. God Bless you.

Cross Creek writes:

Gerbera writes:

CC, I just read the bill and it doesn't say anything about owning show animals. It very clearly defines cruelty and torture at the very beginning. If you aren't mistreating your birds, I don't think this bill would affect you at all.

I don't know why I'm bothering...I'll stop now.

The point I am trying to make is that bill opens the doors for us to be falsely accused then we have to prove the burdon of proof of our innocents. Do bother as I am open for a good discussion concerning these bills.

Gerbera writes:

Is it fair of me to judge contributors by their grammar and spelling? A lot of what has been written, including comments from the person who claims to be a vet, is so poorly written that I question the information provided.

Cross Creek writes:

Gerbera, this site is not equipped with spell check, I know I write hundreds of reports a week and without it I would look like a school drop out. Spelling does not make us professionals, if so every agency would not have computers with spell check on them and have to proof read every report written before they are submitted to higher ups.

Cross Creek writes:

Thomas Jefferson founded his University of Virginia in 1819, did you ever realize that Thomas Jefferson was also a Great Game Fowl man in his days along with George Washington? Both great Virginians and Leaders of our Country. Also some more history, the Game Cock missed being the National Bird by 2 votes to the Bald Eagle.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

What in the world are you talking about? Do you really believe these things? No vote was ever held making the bald eagle our national bird. You totally made that up. The eagle is only considered to be the national bird because it was the centerpiece of the seal designed by the continental congress in 1782. It was of incidental importance that only in retrospect became important.

Seriously, just try to point us to a vote. When was it held? What was the tally? Who voted on which side? What other birds were considered?

Claire Ward writes:

Where to start? The discussion of this bill has devolved to a completely crazy level. However, against my better judgement, I'll wade back into the fray. The bill under consideration extends the penalty for fighting dogs to all other forms of animal fighting (chickens, gerbils, whatever). It does not prohibit the breeding or ownership of any animal-it penalizes animal fighting for fun and profit. Based on my reading of this bill, a responsible, humane owner/breeder has nothing to fear.

Now, I have some libetarian leanings, so I'm sympathetic to the property rights argument. However, I believe that the rights of ownership come to a screeching halt when it comes to abuse. Abuse of animals is a sin (abuse of humans is a sin as well, but that's not the issue at hand here).

I'm not a crazy animal rights person. I show dogs in the confirmation ring (herding dogs-not little poofy dogs)and have many friends who are dog breeders and trainers. I eat meat. I wear leather shoes. I dislike PETA's tactics.

However, I regard animal fighting to be an abomination. It seems so clear to me-watching animals fight to the death is a bloodthirsty and unseemly form of amusement. How could anyone possibly think that animal fighting is a good idea?

As for the standing up for my rights argument, I did not have the privilege of military service (nor will I, as I am of a certain age), but my father was a career Naval aviator. So, I am well acquainted with the military. My father and I disagreed on many things, but were always in agreement that cruelty to animals was the mark of a low person. I do not believe that he and his contemporaries fought 3 wars (WWII, Korea and Vietnam) to protect the rights of animal fighters and sadists.

A & M writes:

So of all the points in my statement my literacy is what you choose to debate? Why not open your mind and just accept that you could be wrong? It's possible isn't it? I type fast but not very well, as most of my work is hands on. Also when I attended A & M and later LSU we did not use keyboards a whole lot, as I received my Masters Degree thirty nine years ago.
I do not wish to attack anyone here. I also feel that anyone who does is an extremist one way or the other because this issue just should not be drawing very much attention. I do find it repulsive that my tax dollars are being spent to regulate what some may do with their chickens.
Claire, I wish to thank your father c/o you for his service. I also agree that you have the right to consider anything you wish an abomination. There are certainly things that I consider to be an abomination. Some may consider homosexuality, abortion, smoking, alchohol comsumption etc as such. What we are talking about here is freedom. You should not partake in something you believe is wrong. You do not have the right, nor should the state, to dictate to others what is wrong, given that the activity in subject does not harm another human being. The government is not in place to engineer the beliefs of the populus. When we allow or promote legislation that enables them to do so, it sets a horrible precedent. The next piece of legislation may be something prohibiting what is your way of life, unless you fit in the way they tell you to. Ech individual should be free to do with their property as they wish. Cross creek, the reason you are having this problem, is because people in general consider themselves less macho if they admit that maybe they made an uneducated judgement call. It was stated earlier that cruelty to animals marks a low person. I agree! I have yet to meet a cockfighter though who was cruel to his animals, and I have met hundreds of them. They feed them the finest feed available. They vacinate and medicate more autiously than any pet owner i have ever known. These are men who will not just go "drop them off at the vet" and think they have done their job. We see a LOT of animals go through our office. We would like to have more time to devote to each one but just do not. Cockers want to actually LEARN how to maintain optimum health in their animals. The gamecocks pampered beyond belief. there is one man just north of Houston Texas who, every time I am doing his pollorum typhoid testing, will actually pick up any of the birds water bowl and drink from it. He is a very succesful business man with a beautiful farm and nice family. He does all of the work on the birds himself, including scrubbing and filling with fresh water 350 bowls every day. I want everyone to understand, cocks are not MADE or FORCED to fight. they are ALLOWED to fight. Anyone telling you differently has ulterior motives or are just passing on information that they have heard and blindly accepted as fact. If two cocks are going to naturally fight, why not let people watch? If you disagree with cockfighting, dont go, but its not something you should envoke the legislative process and waste tax dollars on with our national debt in the condition it is and the value of the dollar dropping by the minute. I have been around poultry all of my life. I love animals so much that I chose the maintenance of their health a career. I grew up around gamefowl. Now why would you believe someone who has never owned or been near a gamecock over someone who has devoted part of his life to them and loves them? If you care about the facts to base your opinion on, I am about to give them to you all. If you are just going to "stick with your way of thinking no matter what because your ego can't handle the fact that just maybe you've been misled" then why are you reading any of this? And keep in mind, cocking certainly isnt for everyone. i understand that some people do not like it and thats ok. some people dont like baseball etc. I would never hold not liking something against anyone. I only hold tryihng to force your beliefs on others against an individual because that is wrong in any logical persons book. NOw, here are the FACTS:
1. Gamecocks naturally fight to the death. When they reach the age of around 6 months, they must be separated or a very bloody, deadly battle will ensue.
2. The spurs on their legs that grow naturally are not used for anything except fighting. They grow to a needle sharp point. Some will grow perfectly straight and very deadly, while others will grow crooked and of to the side as an extra long fingernail is apt to do. This woudl obviously give the cock with a perfect set of spurs a huge unfair advantage over one with a crooked set. For this reason and the metal gaffs are attached to the cocks legs. In the fight, the cocks are weighed. the cocks must weigh the same, and must be wearing the same length gaffs. Whn the cocks are placed on the ground, they will run towards each other in order to destroy their opponent. Neither will at any time try to run away or show any emotion besides the desire for victory. No sounds are made other than the sound of striking, wings flapping and an occasional crow. Natural fights, or naked heel fights as cockers call them, are the most bloody of all fights. The metal gaffs make the fight much less bloody and much more humane. It is usually a quick fight as compared ot the natural fight that can take 2 or 3 hours and always results in mutilated birds. And hey, God put the spurs on him. The knives you are shown pictures of are just to shock you into agreeing with them. Knives are EXTREMELY rare in the United States.
3. Gamecocks are cared for very well. Pampered. They do not fight until they are 2 or 3 years old. The winner is placed in a pen with hens to breed where he dies of old age. So in a cockers hands, a chicken is GUARANTEED a life span of two or three years and if he wins his fight a natural death of old age. When the spca or humane society confiscates chickens, they are killed immediately. I can't follow the logic in that at all. Thats what people should be protesting! But noone seems to care. If you wanted to fight shouldnt you be allowed to? And if you had the choice of fighting for your life in three years against an opponent who was equal in every way or being put to certain death right now against an invincable opponent, which would you choose? which is more humane? Be honest now, open your mind and think, please dont just try and be defensive. I will certainly afford you the same courtesy. The problem is people are forming opinions without hearing all of the facts, and it is usually because they just didnt know that there WERE any more facts. I am just giving them to you, thats all. The chickens we eat are kept in long buildings in small wire cages. They have standing room only. if they are allowed to move around the meat is not as tender. they are never allowed to see the sun. They stand in their own feces and are fed growth stimulants until thewir legs will not support their own weight. They are hung upside down and decapitated on an assembly line. They are not allowed to EVER raise their young or even mate for that matter. They are killed at 4 to 6 weeks of age! Game hens are allowed to raise every chick and spend the days in the pastures or brood pens teaching them. All game hens that do not fall victim to disease or predators die of old age. Honestly, which kind of chicken would you rather be?
3. Cockfights are not occupied with drugs and shady characters or just hillbillies. I have been present at many of them. If you have not been, you have no foundation for your opinion. Cockfighters are for the most part married, christian, blue collar or white collar american husbands and fathers. I know many who own large businesses. I knwow attorneys, doctors, and yes, hillbilly rednecks who fight roosters. I even know one prominent attorney who is a hillbilly redneck that fights! LOL Its people from all walks of life and from all ethnic backgrounds. There are not many poverty stricken peole who partake inthe sport simply because it is a very expensive sport to be involved with. the average farm spends around 400.00 a week just on feed and vitamins. The larger farms quadruple that. They are good people who are being unfairly judged due to having a VERY wealthy opponent who can purchcae media influence. I have never seen a single fistfight at a cockfight. I have never witnessed any drug use nor do I visit any farms that I believe the owner of which would touch the stuff. they just for the most part aren't that type of person.
4. People hide in a tree. they put corn out on the ground to trick the deer. the deer, not knowing the person is in the tree, walks out to eat. The hunter shoots him! Sometimes for food, and sometimes NOT. The animal never wishes to be shot as the gamecock wishes to fight. A man takes a small fish that has suffocated in a fishing boats net or has been frozen alive. He digs a hook into it, then throws it into the water. Another fish, is swimming happily along and sees a meal in fron tof him. He eats it. the man jerks the hook through the fishes mouth, and enjoyes great pleasure in the "fight". Which is actually the fish struggling to stay alive, terrified against an unyielding opponent which he cannot see. He is finally brought out of the water, and the man holds the fish in the air. While the fish suffocates to death staring at the water he could live in, the mans friends pat him on the back laughing and taking pictures of him with the dying fish. Compare these to : A chicken is pampered his whole life, kept in perfect conditon and at three years of age is released next to one who weighs the same as he. And thats it folks, because the cock decides to do the fighting.
5. People gamble at cockfights. big deal. Honestly, have none of you ever bought a lottery ticket or took a trip to vegas? We all gamble all the time. Its human nature. More gambling is done on the golf course than is ever done at a cockfight. Gam,bling is NOT the reaosn for cockfights and anyone telling you differently is not telling you the truth. Fighting is done to preserve a breed. The fight is the testing grounds. One cocker is trying to breed a better cock than his friend. Andrew Jackson, George Washington, John Hancock, Abraham Lincoln and the list goes on, all fought cocks and it was considered at that time the noble "sport of kings". I know, they owned slaves too, right? Thats the only comeback I've ever heard. Slavery hurts human beings, letting two roosters fight does not. Big difference.
Peter Singer is considered the Godfather of the animal rights movement. my favorite quote of his is "Our enemy is the church. If the animal rights movement is to succeed, we must destroy the christian judeo religous tradition." Peta, humane society of the united states, last chance for animals and all of their ilk have done more harm to animals than anyone could possibly imagine. Of the 2,103 dogs that Peta took in during 2004, 1,971 of those were killed! Humane society of the united states has been under investigation for fraud, embezzlement, and their own admitted ties to the coronado bombings of labs and the animal liberattion front for years. Some of their chief operatives are ALF members. Alf is the FBI's number ONE rated domestic terrorist right now! www.activistcash.com
Humane sociey of the united states also does not donate a single dollar to nor operate a siungle animal shelter. they are in no way affiliated with your local "Humane society". Anyone who does a little research will find that the animal rights movement as a whole IS against pet ownership, eating meat, or animal use of any kind. Cockfighting is just a small step in that direction. I think what should be done with cockfighting is to make the cockers buy a license, then tax it as well. the government would make money instead of waste money.

Gerbera writes:

If two cocks are going to naturally fight, why not let people watch?

In the wild, do male gamecocks seek each other out to fight or do they have turf the same way other animals do and only interact when another male comes onto their turf? I suspect that like most aggressive animals, the males stay away from each other and only fight when another male challenges him.

All animals, not matter how sophisticated, strive for self preservation. It's ridiculous to say that a healthy animal WANTS to fight to the death.

Gerbera writes:

Peter Singer is considered the Godfather of the animal rights movement. my favorite quote of his is "Our enemy is the church. If the animal rights movement is to succeed, we must destroy the christian judeo religous tradition."

The source of this quote, a 19 year old's entry on wikipedia, was revealed last year. The person who used the quote couldn't site a book, article, or interview in which Singer said the statement. Can you?

Dave Hutson writes:

A&M:
A gamecock naturally fights to the death.
&
If all gamefowl were released immediately, they would fight until only one were alive.

It seems to me that if both of these statements were true, there would have been no gamecocks left long before your father and grandfather were entering fowl in fights.

ron writes:

Waldo: History 101. The American Bald Eagle was adopted (don't know if there was an actual vote, but when Congress "adopts" something it is usually by vote) as the National Bird on 20 June 1782 after six years of debate by the American Seal Preliminary Design Committee (B. Franklin, J. Adams, T. Jefferson) who loosely agreed on a preliminary design which was originally sketched by Charles Thompson and then refined by William Barton. The design was submitted and approved by Congress on the same day. Other images considered: two headed eagle, dove, gamecock, flaming phoenix, rattlesnake.

Claire Ward writes:

If I remember correctly, Benjamin Franklin was in favor of establishing the turkey as the National Bird. Does that sound familiar to you, Ron?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Without documentation of "failing by two votes" or claimed alternative candidates, I'm just not buying it.

This site (of unknown accuracy) claims that the design was approved the very day that it was submitted, thus making any debate quite impossible. And this 1902 New York Times article reports that the eagle was prescribed to celebrate the nation's germanic heritage, the eagle being the symbol of that nation. The lengthy article goes into great detail about how the national seal was decided upon, and contains not a single word about gamecocks or any other birds.

This business of gamecocks and and close votes smacks of "everybody knows" urban legend. I'm calling BS on it unless somebody can prove otherwise.

Gerbera writes:

Benjamin Franklin was in favor of establishing the turkey as the National Bird.

Yes, and Franklin Purdue wanted the Over Stuffer Roaster while Col. Sanders wanted the national bird fried with a side of instant potatoes and biscuits.

Seriously, isn't the gamecock a type of rooster? The rooster is a symbol of France, which was an ally, but I'm not sure it was as heavily represented as other countries in Colonial America.

James writes:

Cockfighting is already illegal here so this bill serves no purpose, stupid "feel good" bills like this shouldnt be passed, c'mon ppl there are bigger fish to fry, for gods sake y'all stuff your faces w/ chicken all the time and i bet they didnt volunteer to be eaten or killed en mass my some machine.

Ron writes:

Yes, Ben Franklin favored the Wild Turkey (not the liquid type) and/or the Rattlesnake as the National Emblem. Sorry I left the turkey out of my previous post! Yes, Waldo and "of unknown accuracy" says it all - and frankly just because you don't "buy it" doesn't make it so! Also, there was much debate by the Design Committee, from 1776 to 1782. It is true it was approved the same day it was submitted (June 20)as only the eagle seal was presented (but they probably still voted on it). Congress was then efficient!!!

CCGF writes:

A&M speakes more truth than anyone else on this forum. I'd like to shake his hand.
Still nobody want to answer my question ? Basically, how can you condem the cockfighters for allowing these animals to do what comes naturally to them & promote the "humane society" for "saving" the birds by killing them in a lot crueler ways than fighting them. Check out my latest post on HB32.

CCGF writes:

I wonder if Waldo is as irritating in person ?

Ron writes:

Gerbera: Gamefowl are naturally aggressive toward other male fowl (not to everything as the HSUS would like you to believe(their justification for "humanely euthanizing" them)). My Grandchildren handle and pet them whenever they are at my home. From your statement it is apparent that you have not been personally exposed to these beautiful creatures. Yes, they are healthy and they DO want (and DO) fight the the death without prompting. Why don't you vist a gamefowl farm and see? That would be simple enough.

Va Math Teacher writes:

The University of North Carolina did a study on what makes gamecocks fight to the death, they found that gamecocks have 17 times more testosterone than a regular farm rooster also explaining the peculiar and unique feature the gamecock breed has:hens with spurs!.To think a cock fights merely because of its situation and circumstance is just plain ignorant, and to blame cockfighters for allowing the gamecock to fulfill its primeval instict is criminal!Cockfighters are not criminals and should not be subject to felonious penalties.We are not sadists or blood thirsty barbarians we are farmers,teachers,professionals, like anyone else.This bill belongs in the trash bin, lets take care of ral issues and real criminals!

Va Math Teacher writes:

Dave Hutson writes:

A&M:
A gamecock naturally fights to the death.
&
If all gamefowl were released immediately, they would fight until only one were alive.

It seems to me that if both of these statements were true, there would have been no gamecocks left long before your father and grandfather were entering fowl in fights.

Sir Hutson, The gamecocks descendants were domesticated thousands of years ago and by default only the winners were bred thus enhancing and perpetuating the fowls natual fighting instict and "gameness".Your reasoning and logic is simplistic to say the least.The gamecock has lived in a symbiotic relationship with its owners for over 3,000 years.

Dan writes:

Ole Cross Creek is over at www.gamerooster.com whining and crying about how he had his butt kicked on this site. Those silly cockfighters...

What's the difference between a cockfighter and a bag of dung? Answer: the bag.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Dan, please -- it's bad enough that this bunch has begun to stray from discussing legislation, but don't join in.

Dave Hutson writes:

Va Math Teacher:
The gamecocks descendants were domesticated thousands of years ago and by default only the winners were bred thus enhancing and perpetuating the fowls natual fighting instict and "gameness".Your reasoning and logic is simplistic to say the least.

If the question is indeed about the logical sophistication of the argument, then I'm certain you'll agree that it is not reasonable for others posting here to make the argument, given A&M’s post and yours, that both freeing the birds would lead to them destroying each other and that continuing to "enhance and perpetuate" these killer instincts are acceptable – or at least that the breeders and cockers have merely observed the natural tendencies or (more absurd in context) allowed them to live out their destiny.

You are right to question my logic because I failed to draw in the other aspect of the argument to which I was reacting – the notion that breeders and cockers have no responsibility for the actions of their birds. Logically I didn’t see how that consideration and the claim that they would whittle their species down to one could coexist. I had no knowledge, however, of the history of raising gamecocks and the effects thereof until your comment. Thank you, sir, for elucidating.

I must also say that I agree with others who have commented that there are more important things to be concerned about, but that does not serve as a reason to not do other things. If we tried hard enough, we could come up with the most critical issue that faces us. We would do well to fervently work toward a solution to that issue. If, however, we abandoned all other issues, we would soon find ourselves in terrible shape.

I’m not saying that this is even in the top 100 things that we face or that if we ignore it global thermo-nuclear war will ensue. I’m simply saying that if we can establish that it is problematic and we can reasonably do something about it, then we should. To that end, this discussion is worthwhile.

CCGF writes:

What's the difference between the following organizations; PETA and Humane Society ? Answer: Nothing, there are both terrorist. I haven't seen or heard of any cockers blowing up or attacking anyone.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Only the legislation at hand may be discussed here. Any posts that do not discuss the legislation, its effects, or the matters addressed by the legislation will be deleted. Take those discussions to e-mail if you really want to have them.

This isn't hard, folks.

CCGF writes:

Ok, what happens if the courts find a guilty verdict and the animals are forfeited to the locality ? Wonder why they don't just make an ammendment & add that all conficated animals will suffer terrible treatment / deaths at the hands of the people that just saved them.
The state should not kill them (gamefowl), just check them for diseases, treat them, and place them in small cages where they cannot move, pump them full of steriods, etc... to plump them up. Then after about 6 weeks, chop their heads off while they are still alive & make fryers out of them. Just think we could feed all the convicts our jails are overflowing with. We could feed all the illegal immigrants and homeless people in our country. Problem solved, lock up the cockfighters (probably putting additional families on welfare), conficate their fowl. And instead of killing and throwing the confiscated fowls carcasses in the landfill, we can use them to feed overcrowded prisons/jails and the illegal aliens/homeless. To top it all off, before you know it the gamecock will be extinct and be a thing of the past. Then our legislators can work on some BS laws.

cbones writes:

Im 21 and been rasing gamefowl for the biggest part of my life, I do not do drugs and im not a criminal. People say cockfighters are criminals,and are more likely to be violent, but i would like for you to tell me how many times you have every heard of a cockfighter killing anyone? How many times have you ever heard of a gang of cockfighters doing a drive by shooting? How many people in prison were cockfighters? I dont fight chickens, but folks like yall want to do away with the game cock and we are not going for it!!!!

Waldo Jaquith writes:

No more of these disgusting personal attacks. "cbones," I erased the part of your comment making filthy sexual accusations against those who favor this bill. If I have any time on my hands, I'll edit out the nasty parts. But if I'm in a hurry, I'll just erase your whole comment if any bit of it is inappropriate. Life is too short for me to waste it on this.

Cross Creek writes:

I would like to take the time to ask all cockers, game fowl owners, game fowl breeders and in general anyone who is opposed the this bill or any of the other bills to keep it clean and on subject regardless of what others post. T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Accomplishes More) is what it is going to take to convince law makers that these bills are unjustifiable. I know at first on here I posted a few things that I should have thought out more before I posted, but I am here now trying to lead our effort in a positive and political way. We need to post factual thing like pro's and con's, positives and negatives with these bills so our law makers can view what the concern is in general to the people of Virginia. I have been discussing a few things with someone and they have offered me advice on how to handle this issue and along with everyone’s help I feel we can get our points and views across better and more civilized.

Cross Creek writes:

First off I want to debate the Crime vs. Time issue at hand on this perposed bill that would increase the penalty from a class 3 misdimeaner to a class 6 felony.

I would like to post that I disagree with this bill (HB 656) along with HB 1057 and SB 592 on several issues, but I want to make a good faith effort to argue the Crime vs. Time that this bill would impose on the tax paying citizens of Virginia. I was researching last night and discovered an article posted in the Richmond Times discussing Virginia's prison population forecast to rise, http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news/state.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-01-07-0147.html
(I hope I am not in the wrong here posting the link but I feel it is a very good article). To house estimated 6,700 more inmates by 2013, state builds, expands sites. This is just one of the reasons I am opposed to adding felony or jail time on crimes that can be taken care of
with fines for those who violate the law. We are talking about being over
budget, needing money, broke, but we fail to realize it costs us $25,000.00
per inmate per year to house in our jails and prisons. By adding a class 6 felony to this bill it would subject a Non-Violent person to be housed with violent criminals who are never getting out and have no regards for human lives. I know what happens behind the walls of prisons, I know of the violence, I have seen grown men Raped that were non violent offenders by violent offenders (PREA, Prison Rape Elimination Act doesn't phase a convicted felon who is never getting out anyway). This issue is what I keep screaming about Crime vs. Time. We need to find ways to deal with things than attach a felony on it and throw them in jail or prison. To me that is not dealing with the problem, only creating a larger one for the state. Keep in mind if these bills are passed it would subject Virginians to other situations once the non-violent offender under this new law is released back out into our communities. Diseases, yes our prisons are full of them, there is a very large rate of HIV (Aids) and HBV (Hepatitis) and have had several out breaks of Bacterial Meningitis. In a prison setting it is hard to control these types of diseases. Last year Legislation voiced a concern of the Avian Flu as a reason to attempt to pass SB1190 which would have added a class 6 Felony on to the current law. Politicians argued that the fear of avian flu was a concern of law makers and another reason to pass the bill. Please consider the fact that we would stand a chance of infecting our communities with these diseases (HIV, HBV) once released out of jail or prison. Class 6 Felony 1 to 5 years in prison, meaning that this person would be integrating back into society from the prison lifestyle. I hope I have voiced an appropriate issue in regards to this bill as I disagree with adding a Felony status to this bill. I feel that the current law is sufficient in punishment versus crime and the fact that instead of taking money from the tax payers you would take money from those who break the current laws.

Cross Creek writes:

Sorry I mispelled purposed, so please if the moderators could correct my typo.

Cross Creek writes:

Dan writes:

Ole Cross Creek is over at www.gamerooster.com whining and crying about how he had his butt kicked on this site. Those silly cockfighters...

What's the difference between a cockfighter and a bag of dung? Answer: the bag.

Well Dan I am going to be the better man and say god bless you, and please stick to discussing legislation about the bills at hand.

Cross Creek writes:

What does Euthanasia really mean, and here is the definition:

Euthanasia - (Greek, good death) - is the practice of killing in painless or minimally painful way for merciful reasons to end suffering.
1.) It can be done with inhalant agents, non-inhalants "lethal injections", and physical methods. Pets are almost alwaysuthanized via lethal injection, typically a very high dose of barbiturate anesthetic. 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; it’s the fate of animals nobody wants.

I want to debate the fact that what happens to the game fowl (roosters, hens and biddies) when and if this bill is passed and they are confiscated by the Authorities, Humane Officers or an Animal Activist type group, what happens to them? Are our law makers ready to spend the appropriate funding to upgrade Animal Shelters to house each individual game fowl so that they are kept in humane quarters until after the owner or owners have went threw the appropriate channels in the judicial system. This process needs to be looked into so that anyone who has proved in the court systems that they were not in violations of any accused laws that their property will properly be taken care of until the outcome of their legal process. If that person is not found guilty, they should not be required by any law to pay any expenses that were incurred while proving their innocents. If the owner is found guilty I feel it would be justifiable to charge the owner for the up keep of these animals while they were going through their legal process. In every past experiences when game fowl were confiscated they were euthanized on the spot, regardless of the guilt or innocents of the accused. They always stated they were unable to be rehabilitated, and anyone who has ever owned game fowl knows that this statement is 100% false. To rehabilitate or to shelter properly game fowl you need individual cages that are petitioned to where they cannot fight each other and induce injury upon themselves. For example the authorities confiscate 300 game fowl roosters; they would need 300 properly built cages to correctly house these fowl in. This way they can ensure that these fowl are humanely taken care of properly until the outcome of the legal process. Because until guilt is proven in the court system these said game fowl are the property of the accused. Euthanizing these fowl without guilt being proved to me is similar to someone stealing from someone, and considering the value of a game cock this could easily fall in the felony range of over $200.00. I have no clue as to how much funding Virginia would need to upgrade their Animal shelter to properly house game fowl if these bills are passes. I figure that the animal shelters are already under funded and do not receive any funding from any of the animal rights activist groups such as the Humane Society of United States, PETA or any other group that state they are all about saving the lives of these said animals. The need for a budget increase will desperately needed as the rising price of Game fowl feed has risen to $25.00 per 100 lb of properly mixed game fowl feed. Our Delegates and Senators are quick to introduce bills increase penalties and that allow confiscation of their game fowl if they feel they are in violation of the proposed bills. Can our tax dollars stretch any further than we have them already? $25,000.00 to house anyone convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor or any felony charge, plus the cost to house humanely the animals until someone has exhausted their legal process including appeals. Can and is Virginia ready to take on them responsibilities and have the funding to appropriately do so. Or would law makers be better off leaving it at its current state and fine the wrong doers who break the laws and have no out of pocket expense for funding the enforcement of the current laws in Virginia?

Claire Ward writes:

The really interesting fact about this bill is that it is submitted as a part of the AG's legislative package, which indicates to me that any comprehensive animal cruelty bill has a great deal of bi-partisan support. As we are aware, the AG is a conservative Republican who is probably is not all influenced by the twin bete noirs of the chicken fighting community, HSUS and PETA.

So, in this session, we are seeing a proliferation of animal-related legislative proposals. What this says to me is that in the wake of national embarassment over dogfighting and puppy mills, Virginia is finally serious about animal welfare issues (please note that the use of welfare in lieu of rights-the animal rights people make me a little crazy). The volume and bi-partisan nature of these bills suggest to me that at least one of them will become law.

Doug Smith writes:

Folks - I am not sure why this board is so radioactive, but as the owners of the site I want to be clear that we will remove and block posters who try to provoke online fights, particularly if there is false or demeaning information as part of the post. I have spoken to several of you and I am copied on many of the emails that are exchanged between you and Mr. Jaquith. To be clear, we are monitoring our boards and will not tolerate abusive posts.

Please keep it civil.

Doug Smith
Virginia Interfaith Center

Gary Patsy writes:

I myself feel the people of Virginia should be spending the time spent here, emailing their legislator's. They are the ones who need to hear your thoughts. They need to see just how many votes they stand to lose. I love a good debate,and an arguement here or there gets feelings out and makes people feel like they did good. Make your post,state your reason's and start emailing your legislators. Don't try to force your opinions on each other. As every day groups like peta and the hsus are shooting themselves in the foot with wrong doings and law breaking tactic's. Soon enough the vote buying and deceptive practice's of these groups will come out. Gary

Waldo Jaquith writes:

To repeat myself:

Only the legislation at hand may be discussed here. Any posts that do not discuss the legislation, its effects, or the matters addressed by the legislation will be deleted. Take those discussions to e-mail if you really want to have them.

This isn't hard, folks.

Cross Creek writes:

Claire Ward , I am trying to understand what you just posted. But yes I can see where some issues have risin in Virginia in reference to dogs. These new bills are really not addressing that issue as much as they are trying to increase only the penalty for cock fighting which really has not been a big issue in Virginia in many years. When I turn on the TV I hear about the Vick case and I hear about a Puppy Mill, but I never hear about cock fighting troubles in Virginia. If you are correct in your prediction that one of the bills will pass I only feel that HB1232 is justifiable enough to pass, but not HB32, HB656, HB1057 or SB592. I feel that VA Code 3.1-796.125 correctly deals appropriately with game fowl. I am going to try a research how many cock fighting cases have been procecuted in Virginia in the last 10 years. I don't feel there are many if any on record.
I am just trying to reference back to some wording you used to help simplify it for the non political citizen whom are not familar with this type of wording.
bete noirs - One that is particularly disliked or that is to be avoided [French : bête, beast + noire, black.]
Bipartisanship
In a two-party system (such as in the United States or Australia), bipartisan refers to any bill, act, resolution, or any other action of a political body in which both of the major political parties are in agreement. Often, compromises are called bipartisan if they reconcile the desires of both parties from an original version of legislation or other proposal. Failure to attain bipartisan support in such a system can easily lead to gridlock, often angering each other and their constituencies.
proliferation- The proliferative phase of wound healing

So basically your saying that due to the recient black eye so to speak Virginia has took over the Micheal Vick case and the Puppy Mill issue both parties feel it should be on thier agenda to heal the wound that Virginia took by increasing the penalties on any animal cruelty laws. Am I correct on this?
Please note the black eye came from Dog related issues, not game fowl related issues and should be addressed as such. Until there is a reasonable problem with the game fowl industry the current law VA Code 3.1-796.125 deals appropriately with the issue, it is and has already been addressed and has not been a problem in Virignia for many years. But when attaching game fowl to the dog or companion animal type bills I feel is uncalled for when VA Code 3.1-796.125 deals with game fowl in depth. I have always beleived that a dog is suppose to be mans best friend, I know I love mine and they love my family and protect them and they love and protect my game fowl from varmits looking for a free meal. Dogs have many purposes in our world. And no where in history have I found where any of our founding leaders or presidents have ever been associated with fighting dogs. On the other hand our history and culture are loaded with game fowl use by alot of historical men who set the ground work for our country and what it stands for today. Many of the greats were Virginians and you already know who they were. The game cock has been bred for thousands of years and really the only way to stop it from doing what comes natural to it is to make the species extinct (Which I hope never happens). 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 invite you to my farm, or better yet i will help you set up a small back yard flock, we can incubate some eggs and hatch off some biddies so they have no mother or father figures around to influence thier ways. You feed and raise the biddies on your place until they reach the age of 1 year old. You sit and take notes once a week on things you see. After the year let me know what you learned about the Game Cock. You will be amused when they are the size of your fist they will be sparring or fighting on the yard, when they get older a dominant male will appear and eventually if kept long enough any other males will be killed off by the boss rooster so to speak. He will do it without a gaff or a knife as it is natural for them to kill off other male species of game fowl even if it is thier own brothers, fathers or any relative. In closing if your correct, the only bill that should be considered in this equasion should be HB1232, as I feel HB32, HB656, HB1057 or SB592 already have proper law that governs it and that is VA Code 3.1-796.125 .

Cross Creek writes:

Gary Patsy writes:
I myself feel the people of Virginia should be spending the time spent here, emailing their legislator's.

Yes I agree, and yes I have been calling and e-mailing. They do need to hear the voice of the people of Virginia and thier position on this bill or any other for that fact.

Doug Smith writes:

Folks - I am not sure why this board is so radioactive, but as the owners of the site I want to be clear that we will remove and block posters who try to provoke online fights, particularly if there is false or demeaning information as part of the post. I have spoken to several of you and I am copied on many of the emails that are exchanged between you and Mr. Jaquith. To be clear, we are monitoring our boards and will not tolerate abusive posts.

I agree with you, we do not need any abusive types of discussions here from anyone. Keep in mind alot of us are not polititians and have the slightest idea of what you consider the appropriate way to voice an opinion on this or any other bill. I know I started out a little rough, but I have been trying to bring up some issue that are on alot of game fowl orientated peoples minds. Since my ban was lifted can you direct me if my recent posts are appropriate and in the form of what this site considered good political discussions of legislation? Even though I have been in a law enforcemnt type field for over 15 years I am novice when it comes to politics to be honest with you. Any help or guidance will be greatly appreciated.

Claire Ward writes:

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. The fact that there are 4 comprehensive animal cruelty bills and 3 "anti puppy mill" bills sponsored by legislators of both parties strongly suggests that one bill of each type will be adopted as law.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

The Attorney General's office issued the following press release today:

Attorney General McDonnell and The Humane Society of the United States Call for Tougher Animal Fighting Laws
Group Urges Passage of McDonnell's Animal Fighting Legislation

Richmond- Today, Attorney General Bob McDonnell joined the leadership of The Humane Society of the United States to call for more effective animal fighting laws in Virginia. The Attorney General and The Humane Society urged passage of McDonnell's animal fighting legislation, announced last week. The legislation is House Bill 656 and Senate Bill 592. House Majority Leader Delegate H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) is carrying the bill in the House. Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg) is carrying the Senate measure. Both attended today's press conference.

Speaking about the legislation, McDonnell noted, "Last year Virginians learned, sadly, of the scope of animal fighting for sport and profit in the Commonwealth. We have found animal fighting in every region in Virginia. As the Attorney General of this state I believe we must do more to crack down on this inhumane blood sport."

McDonnell continued noting, "Our legislation will make it illegal for anyone to attend an animal fight. Those who create the demand for such illegal fights bear criminal responsibility. All who play any role in animal fighting in Virginia must be held accountable to stop this barbaric practice. Also, we are going to help the dogs victimized by dog fighting by ending the rule that they must be held at an animal shelter until the criminal case is resolved."

John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for The Humane Society remarked "If this legislation becomes law, Virginia will be a national leader in passing tough, effective legislation to eradicate cockfighting and dog fighting."

Specifically, HB 656 and SB 592 will:
* Allow searches regarding animal cruelty cases to be conducted after sunset without more authorization.
* Make other forms of animal fighting a Class 6 felony raising it on par with dog fighting.
* Make it a Class 6 felony to use any device or substance to enhance an animal's ability to fight.
* Make attendance at an animal fight a Class 1 misdemeanor
* Make allowing a minor to attend a fight or be involved in an animal fight a Class 1 misdemeanor.
* Provide for streamlining of the forfeiture of animals so that they don't have to be held for years without resolution to the case.
* Ensure that bond will now have to be posted if an owner is contesting the forfeiture of fighting animals

In addition to The Humane Society of the United States the following groups are also supporting Attorney General McDonnell's legislation:
* Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
* Virginia Federation of Humane Societies
* Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force
* Virginia Animal Control Association
* Richmond Animal Care & Control
* Virginia Anti-Dogfighting Coalition
* Virginia Poultry Federation
* Virginia Sheriffs' Association
* Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc.

Cross Creek writes:

Well as I stated earlier that these bills were being pushed very hard by the Humane Society of Unites States (HSUS). You just posted the very fact that I like others were correct.

Just to give history on one of the people influencing our law makers on these bills.

John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for The Humane Society remarked "If this legislation becomes law, Virginia will be a national leader in passing tough, effective legislation to eradicate cockfighting and dog fighting."

John Goodwin, who was formally with American Liberation Front (ALF). Goodwin was not just any animal activist: he was then an avowed member of the terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The FBI considers ALF among America's most active and prolific terrorist groups. Less than a year later he was formally identified as an HSUS legislative affairs staffer.

http://www.activistcash.com/biography.cfm/bid/3364

Here is a link to the very man who is pressing the issues on our Legislators.

Why would our goverment even listed to a criminal such as Goodwin? I thought the polititons were suppose to be the voice of the people of Virignia. Can someone correct me if I am wrong.

Group Urges Passage of McDonnell's Animal Fighting Legislation

If they pass these bills now it definantly put bad ideas and visions in the eyes of Virginians. I guess this explains why we have 3 bills, 1 in the Senate and 2 in the House pushing for class 6 felony and 1 HB32 which is basically what was left of SB1190 last session with a few new modified words.

Cross Creek writes:

They also failed to mention HB1057 which has the same agenda.

Cross Creek writes:

Today I spoke with many Delegates and Senators Offices and alot of them were not even aware of these bills, the ones that were seemed to be against them and thought they were an over kill. They semed to be interested in what I had to say, but hard to tell they may may have just been putting on a show to satisfy my mind and prep me for the kill later. God Bless them anyway, I hope they make the right choice with these bills as they will effet alot of peoples lifes and family heritages.

Gerbera writes:

Just saw Griffin, McDonnell, et al. at their press conference on the news. Looks like there is tremendous support for this bill.

The reporter also said that at a raid in Mecklenburg, over 100 people were arrested and 75% of them were from out of state. Because MD and NC have made the fighting illegal, people are drawn to Virginia for fights.

They also showed video. I wish I could unsee it. It was horrible.

Cross Creek writes:

Gerbera writes:The reporter also said that at a raid in Mecklenburg, over 100 people were arrested and 75% of them were from out of state. Because MD and NC have made the fighting illegal, people are drawn to Virginia for fights.

This was last year, and HR 137, a federal bill has since been passed to protect Virginia's boarders from out of staters entering for the purpose of cock fighting.

Gerbera writes:

This was last year, and HR 137, a federal bill has since been passed to protect Virginia's boarders from out of staters entering for the purpose of cock fighting.

I just took a look at that bill and it talks about transporting the animal across state lines, not about out of state people attending these fights. The fights are still legal here...that's the issue. Once they're illegal, people won't come here to watch them. Maybe the people staging these ridiculous events will find their audience significantly smaller and therefore make the entire practice less lucrative.

Cross Creek writes:

They are illegal here in Virginia, class 3 misdemeaner. The only legal state is LA and it will become illegal in August of this year. Let an out of stater get caught in VA and see how fast they put that Federal Felony on them.

ron writes:

Nice press conference Gen'l - Seven of the ten named as supporters are animal RIGHTS organizations, not animal WELFARE organizations. They will make a lot of money off of the Gen'l's press conference to help them make more money for other animal RIGHTS initiatives. Their goal is the total abolishment of all animal usage. Can you say SPECIAL INTEREST and BIG GOVERNMENT?????

b b radio writes:

Money is coming all the way across the country to stop me from having my roosters. Our elected people are really on the job. KIDS ARE KILLING KIDS AND WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CHICKENS. The law stopped the trouble in mecklenburg.Those people are out, so WHY do we need another law. DOGS AND CHICKENS ARE DIFFERENT. If you want to fight dogs do IT, I don't have to go. LEAVE MY ROOSTERS ALONE ,THEY ARE MINE. After I pay my taxes I have enough to feed them , and they don't miss a meal , what do they want the rest of my money.

Cross Creek writes:

This bill was also assigned to sub-committee today.

House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
Sub-Committee: #1 Agriculture

grey man writes:

With all do respect to you all. Do you not see the writings in the wall. Do you not realize that little by little these radical groups are taking our rights away. You dont have to like cockfighting to realize whats happening. These groups are going after everything and anything that involves animals. Everything from eating meat to having animals as pets. Can you imagine not being able to eat beef, pork, fish, or chicken for that matter. Not having leather shoes, purses, couches,etc. Do we as Americans deserve to have these rights taken away from us? We need to stop debating about chickens fights because i believe that is a right of a individual and start worying about losing our rights to these groups. We need to do our homework fellow Americans.. Dont be fooled by what these groups are trying to do to our Country.

Tim McCormack writes:

@grey man: Bear in mind the difference between animal cruelty and humane death, the difference between killing for entertainment and killing for food. Please also realize that just because PETA (for example) rails against cockfighting, you cannot conclude that everyone who wants to banish cockfighting supports the same ideals as PETA.

LARRY writes:

Felony for deciding what to do with your personal property? Let the punishment suit the crime or lack of.

CCGF writes:

Do a little research on humane death (euthanasia)? What is the difference between animal cruelty and humane death ? How can anyone be convinced that the way PETA & like organizations, are not as cruel in the way they handle and eventually kill confiscated animals.
I have a question for somebody. Do they use a new needle for every bird that gets the lethal injection or does each one go out with a new one ?

Tim McCormack writes:

@CCGF: If PETA uses cruel practices, they will have to abide by the law just like everyone else. Besides, the definition of proper euthanasia is not the topic of this bill. See HB40 for something more relevant.

CCGF writes:

True, I apologize. I'll head on over to HB40 right now.

Cross Creek writes:

Tim McCormack writes:

@CCGF: If PETA uses cruel practices, they will have to abide by the law just like everyone else. Besides, the definition of proper euthanasia is not the topic of this bill. See HB40 for something more relevant.

If this bill was a federal bill and covered all 50 states PETA, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, HSUS, Humane Society of the United States would have gotten a life setence by now for all the innocent animals and game fowl they have proclaimed to save and in the end....KILLED!!!!

Cross Creek writes:

My number 1 argument....... Crime vs. Time. Some crimes agains Humans are not gettting these types of penalties. I feel it is unjustifiable to put a feleny on this type of bill.

Tim McCormack writes:

@Cross Creek: It seems to me that if the punishment for a crime against a human is too low and you feel that the punishment for an animal cruelty crime is too high, you can probably use that as leverage to lobby a legislator to raise the punishment for the human crime. So, it's not all bad. I don't see the benefit justice-wise in comparing punishments (I mean, if it fits, it fits), but it might be a good lobbying strategy.

Personally, I'd like to see more money go towards rehabilitation and prevention than punishment.

Tim McCormack writes:

*sigh* PETA is... yeah, I don't like PETA either. I think most people don't, including the people who are *for* this bill. (Caveat: That's based on an informal survey of people I know.)

We have more common ground than we realize. It doesn't help that everyone (I'm including myself here) focuses on what we disagree upon.

So, we can probably all agree that:
* Government should stay out of what people do with their inanimate property, as long as it isn't affecting others.
* There is a certain level of needless cruelty to animals that is unacceptable to reasonable people. Where that boundary lies varies for different people and different cultures.

I wonder what common ground we can find from there?

Cross Creek writes:

Tim McCormack, we have laws in place to punish those who are cruel to animals. They are appropriate in Crime vs. Time. I don't feel locking a man or woman up for 1 to 5 years after legislation places a class 6 felony on this bill is fair. Not only are they incarcerated, they loose many of thier rights as well (Right to bare arms, right to vote). Once they get out of prison as we all know who is going to hire a convicted felon? In the end what have we solved? We are taking something that Presidents of our Nation did as past times for entertainment and making felons out of them, does this mean our past presidents should be considered criminals as well? There has been chickens fought in the white house many years ago, I guess we need to go back in all history books in our shools and list the bad that our presidents did besides listing all the good they did for our country. I really think our legislators need to consider the impact such a law will cause the people who's cultures are different than those opposed to game fowl or anything dealing with gamefowl. I know I can account for four generations of my family that were all involved in game fowl. I know alot more people can go deeper than that, and if I were to dig deeper I am sure I can trace it a long way back in history. Heritage is an important factor that certain groups don't ever want to consider, but cock fighting has been in our country for 100's of years and involved some very respectable people. Why change the laws to make them felons now. Why cost the tax payers over $25,000 to incarcerate an individual per year as described above just because we have different beliefs. As Americans we should respect the fact that we as Americans have different beliefs as we are a country made up of many races and many different cultures. Respect and love thy fellow American and let them be as long as they are not commiting crimes against persons, drug related or crimes against anothers property. Keep America Free!!!

grey man writes:

Mr McCormack, i dont mean any disrespect whats so ever. But let me ask you something. What is the difference between letting two chickens fight on their own and jumping on a boat with the fellas to go fishing. Now you mention cruelty. If i may ask, what cruelty? Thats what these birds were brought into this world for. Do you know we have ex presidents that were involved in raising chickens for that purpose? Again, i believe we as Americans should have the right to chose if want to attend an event or not. Thats what America is and should be about. My grandfather didnt fight for this country so i can loose my rights. THIS IS AMERICA NOT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY MY FRIENDS.. LET WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE.

Tom Townsend writes:

Bottom line is, it's against Federal Law to cross state lines for the purpose of furthering a "fighting venture." That means it's a Felony to transport chickens, weapons or people across the stated border of one state into another, or across international lines for that purpose.

If you feel the Federal Government can't prosecute a person for driving from North Carolina or Kentucky or any other state into Virginia to participate (including being a spectator) in a cockfight, you're wrong.

The most agregious part of these bills, in my opinion is the part(s) where it makes ME a criminal for raising a chicken that "looks like" a fighting cock.

The APA (American Poultry Assosiaction) Standard of Perfection, which is the rule book by which all poultry is judged in APA approved poultry shows, requires a Male Old English Game, or Old English Game Bantam, to have comb, wattles and earlobes removed. This trimming, or dubbing as it's called, makes a standard sized Old English Gamecock "look like" an American gamecock. Since the proposed legislation makes it a crime to even have gamefowl, that causes an undue burden on APA poultry show participants to somehow prove they don't raise game chickens...

Now, how do you who support this legislation propose I "prove" a negative.... that I'm not doing something.

Does owning a spoon make you a heroin addict? I hear heroin users heat their drugs in spoons... Owning a spoon that's capable of being used to het up heroin should be banned by this form of logic...

One last point if I may. You can pretend these bills aren't sponsored by the HSUS & PETA, but they are. The stated objective of HSUS is the total elimination of all animal use... No milk, butter, meat, eggs, leather, wool, "companion animals" like cats, dogs, horses, tropical fish, caged birds... I think you get the picture...

Cockfighting and dogfighting are the poster children that these folks use to raise funds. They are hot-button issues that are easily manipulated to make people emotional and they help these orgs to raise millions of dollars... none of which (or I should say, little of which) is actually used for the benefit of the animals they pretend to love so much. They spend the greater majority of their funds promoting and supporting legislation (through political contributions to friendly elected officials), not looking after animals, as their name suggests.

They'll tell you that they have the best interest of the animal at heart, yet HSUS spends pennys of their millions each year to take care of animals. PETA, on the other hand, spends a lot of money on animals. They drive around picking animals up from animal shelters so they can be killed in the back of a van and dumped into a trash recepticle... or they'll pick up a hunting dog with the owner's name, address and telephone number on it's collar, only to lie about the dog (still in the van) to a police officer when pulled over for the offense... PETA killed thousands of dogs and cats last year. They killed in the neighborhood of 95% of the animals they "rescued."

As soon as they have cockfighting "in the bag" they'll be after hunting, rodeos and any other form of "animal abuse" they feel they can target next... then will come your working breeds... and eventually your lap dog and house cat. They want to open all our doors and let these animals loose into the wild to fend for themselves.

When they start making noise about taking your cat or dog away from you, I'd like you to remember this day. I'm going to take the time to say, "I told you so" right here and now, because this isn't about chickens or dogs. This is about the right of the individual to live the way he or she sees fit to live.

I don't hurt anyone. I am employed in a field that requires me to be clean, sober and of good character in general. I'm not a doctor or lawyer, but I consider myself to be a professional of sorts. I raise my children to love and respect their mother above myself. I teach them that lying, stealing or hurting another human is wrong.

These laws are the first step to the total elimination of your rights to keep animals. If it looks like a gamecock, it dies and the owner goes to jail under these laws.... call your legislators and beg them to vote NO!

Fraternally yours,
Tom Townsend
Waverly, Virginia

Waldo Jaquith writes:

The most agregious part of these bills, in my opinion is the part(s) where it makes ME a criminal for raising a chicken that "looks like" a fighting cock.

What are you quoting there, with the "looks like"? Those words don't appear anywhere in this bill, nor can I find anything that would seem to serve as a synonym.

Tim McCormack writes:

Do you know we have ex presidents that were involved in raising chickens for that purpose?

By that reasoning then we should also legalize and celebrate slavery and all the other things that are now crimes but weren't then.

Tim McCormack writes:

We are taking something that Presidents of our Nation did as past times for entertainment and making felons out of them, does this mean our past presidents should be considered criminals as well? There has been chickens fought in the white house many years ago.

That doesn't make it right. Slavery was pretty popular too, back in the day. Now the country has a different opinion.

I guess we need to go back in all history books in our shools and list the bad that our presidents did besides listing all the good they did for our country.

I believe we currently do this. Nixon has a pretty bad rap in the history books, I hear tell.

Scooti Waring writes:

Whats next people???!!! BIG BROTHER is right around the corner!!!! today our presonal property.....tomorrow????

Scooti Waring writes:

There are penalties in place that are adequite.What we need to realize is that little by little our government is taking away our freedoms as americans.They are coming after ANYTHING that invoves animals,hunting,fishing,your female dog that you would like to have a puppy from,etc. I have to believe alot of these "bills" originate from the fact that the government feels like they are misssing out on some more money from us little folk!!!

Cross Creek writes:

Has anyone other than me noticed the quick reprints of previous article linking Delegate Griffith and Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell with HSUS, Humane Society of the Uniated States and John "JP" Goodwin?

Here is a link to the reprint

http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news/politics/general_assembly.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-01-16-0136.html

I feel that all the information sent abut J.P. and the do gooder groups have made an impact on legislation, even to the point they are reprinting articles that linked them directly to HSUS.

Cross Creek writes:

I found a link that has not yet been edited,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/14/AR2008011402419.html?sid=ST2008011402449

I checked Bristol Herald Courier and it had been changed as well. The big title and the picture showing J.P. Goodwin have mysteriously dissapeared for some odd reason.

If you are in denial, look at Waldo's post, he posted the exact release.

Cross Creek writes:

This should constitute a conflict of interests

A Chairman sitting on a committee that has a bill he introduced. Can you say done deal, especially after the way he bullied the Democrats yesterday.
Something needs to be done,as I feel he is out of control. ASAP!!!!!!

Waldo Jaquith writes:

That's not a conflict of interest. The person who chairs a committee should be the person on the committee (and in the legislator) who is the most knowledgeable about that which is the business of that committee. Why would we prevent the legislature's most knowledgeable people from introducing legislation about that which they are most knowledgeable?

ron writes:

If the person who introduced this bill is the most knowledgeable in the House about cockfighting I would say there is a great lack of knowledge in the House on this subject. The only knowledge he has of this sport is what he is told by the HSUS! And we know that is about as biased as anything gets. Can you say SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP and BIG GOVERNMENT???

ron writes:

Tim: The difference between slaves and gamefowl is that slaves didn't want to be slaves; gamefowl LOVE to fight other males of their species!

Cross Creek writes:

This bill is up for review by committee Monday, Jan. 28th. I hope everyone has voiced their opinions dealing with this bill with their Legislators.

t.c. writes:

I have been reading some of the posts that people have made on here and I just don't quite get it....why can't our government just focus on the more violent crimes such as the murders, arsonist (sp?) drugs, rapist, robbers and child abusers? I don't see nothing wrong with the "good 'ol country boys fighting some cocks. I have seen a cockfight or two and some people have posted on other bills that the cocks fight until one dies...well I have watched a few fights and it is a 50/50 situation where the cocks end up killing the other. Some of the cocks just give up and fight no more. I do not approve of the dog fighting what so ever. But you have to think....a chicken is just a chicken. I mean come on...chickens lay eggs everyday and then when at the right time..those chickens have eggs. It seems to me that everyone thinks that it is alright for the "guy next door" to come babysit your children and rape them, it is ok for that guy that you see walking down the street to be harmless and when you leave your belongings are missing or the house is no longer down cause someone set fire to it. Or better yet have teenagers go to school with guns and shoot his classmates and be high on drugs. I think that our tax dollars are being a little stretched with the whole cockfighting bill(s) I think that our government needs to be focusing a little more on the more importants crimes than a bunch of those "good 'ol country boys" having a good time hurting nobody and really do nothing wrong! WHY DON'T THE GOVERNMENT JUST LEAVE THEM ALONE?"

ron writes:

I am appalled that the Commonwealth Attorney General would share the stage for a press conference with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). This organization has as their long term goal the abolishment of all animal usage for any reason. Why some leaders of our great Commonwealth would cater to the wishes of this out-of-state, powerful, special interest group which wishes to destroy the economic foundation of our Commonwealth is beyond me. Virginia is a leading agricultural producer of the United States. In FY 2006, according to the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, Virginia farmers maintained approximately two and one half billion animals for agricultural purposes. Virginia ranked ninth among all states in the export of poultry, and sixteenth among all states in live animal and meat exports, producing income for the Commonwealth in the amount of approximately $165 million (this does not include intra state totals). The HSUS seeks to end all animal agriculture; animal fighting is at this time, the easy target to attack. Who knows what their next focus will be?

Cross Creek writes:

Appears after today HB1057 and HB1465 were incorporated into this bill.

Claire Ward writes:

This bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee. Interestingly enough, no one spoke against the bill during the hearing.

ccdirtdawgs writes:

Some of you here need to take a look at HB 999. It's bill for an animal seizure bonds and unfortunately, I can't get the RichmondSunlight link to the full text to work. You can view the full text of the bill on the VA legislature site.

What HB 999 does is permit "humane investigators" and law enforcement authorities to sashay onto your property and seize your animals without a warrant if they suspect neglect or cruelty. Once the owner's animals are seized, they must pay a bond for up to 90 days of care or surrender their animals over to the seizing authority to do as they wish without ever having had their day in court! Of course, the animal owner must still go to court. If the owner pays the bond, then it appears it might be possible to have their animals returned if judged innocent of the charge(s), but NO provision is made to return the bond money. Also, the hardship clause for people who cannot afford to pay bond has been amended out.

This bill passed committee and sailed through the House. It's on its way to/through the Senate. How is it that our legislators are not batting an eye at stripping people of their basic right to due process in animal cases? Please contact your Senators and request they OPPOSE this BAD bill.

gregory gipson writes:

let me give you a little bit of info on what this stuff will cost everyone i earn 50000
a year in my factory job pay 4500
ayear in health insurance then take around 30000 for a year for prison thats 418000 dollars then you can add whatever section 8 housing and welfare for my stay at home wife and 3 children so imagine all that lost and what it will cost the state to make these animalrights extremists happy they are nonprofit so they do not pay taxes i do then maybe when i get out of prison i can lay on my butt get fat on welfare being that iprobally will not be able to get a good enough job to take care of my family do the math maybe i will vote for someone who thinks we need more welfare so i can have cable

Cross Creek writes:

Claire Ward writes:

This bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee. Interestingly enough, no one spoke against the bill during the hearing.

The ones I spoke to Claire said the reason was they did not want to go against the dog issue of the bill due to the Michael Vick incident. To me these bills really did not strengthen up the dog fighting bills, they were just used so they could get cockfighting and gamefowl owning passed in this bill. I disagree with sly maneuvers by the Legislators to piggy back an issue and tie it to one that people want to tighten up on. If they had not tied up cockfighting and gamefowl ownership in with HB656 and SB592 they knew they would not get passed. I feel it is unfair and unjustified.

I oppose these bills for that simple fact and the fact that they are created and backed by the Humane Society of the United States. The group who is pushing for tougher laws, not the citizens if Virginia. I feel our Legislative system is being turned into a circus and the rights and welfare of the people of Virginia are not even considered anymore on this issue or any other issue. I feel our system is failing us as it was designed. Out of state influence should never be allowed in the legislative process.

Cross Creek writes:

01/28/08 Senate: Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with amendments (15-Y 0-N)
01/28/08 Senate: Rereferred to Courts of Justice
01/29/08 Senate: Assigned Courts sub: Criminal

Cross Creek writes:

It appears the vote count was not correct it should be 15-1

No Vote
Mary Margaret Whipple Mary Margaret Whipple (D-31)
Served: 1996–(D-31)

gregory gipson writes:

maybe the guys in richmond can focus on real issues say maybe rascism gangs and drugs in our high schools our highschooler says you can get anything you want in school pot coke crack even lsd what is the dare officers doing why dont the k9 officers go in schools any more so while our police become chicken cops our schools can suffer just remember it was not a gamecock that shot up tech all i can do is hope it does not happen in my sons school while the police are out catching chickens what value human life

Waldo Jaquith writes:

It appears the vote count was not correct it should be 15-1

No Vote
Mary Margaret Whipple Mary Margaret Whipple (D-31)

The General Assembly reports the same vote tally.

I see that the bill passed 12-3 in Courts of Justice today, with minor amendments, but nothing of any substance to the folks following it. It sure looks like this thing is gonna pass. Amazing that a thousand angry cockfighters couldn't muster one person to go to the General Assembly and speak against the bill.

CCGF writes:

Yes, it is a shame that none of us could take time off from our full time jobs to waste a trip up there to fight a battle that had already been bought off. A lot of the so called "cockfighters" are just gamefowl enthusiast & breeders that love these birds like a lot of people love their lap dogs and other pets. I guess they'll be made into criminals before its over. Its a waste of time to vote, politicians are all crap when it comes down to it. This is just like every law in this country; drugs, gangs, killing, and now something as simple as owning a specific breed of chicken or dog. It don't matter how many laws you make to stop it, its not going keep people from killing, raping, selling drugs, etc... and it won't stop cockfighting either.

Cross Creek writes:

Well, the cockfighting bills have reared its chicken head at the middle ofthe 2008 session of the General Assembly. The Humane Society has taken out ads in local papers and on the Internet complaining about animal cruelty and their stand along with certain Legislators against the Animal Cruelty bills this session. Highly unusual, to say the least. Well, I suppose the liberals stick together? This is both serious and funny at the same time. I mean weare talking about chickens after all. Note that the Humane Society never have any complaints whatsoever about the gambling element of the offense. All they care about is making chicken fighting a felony. Why Vote No on the Animal Cruelty/ Cockfighting Bill? Two things about the current law to keep in mind: 1) cockfighting with gambling is already a crime punished as a class 3 misdemeanor. This is what these bills were addressed to. 2) Cruelty to animals is already a class 1 misdemeanor (including cruelty to chickens) (3.1-796.122). Some quick criminal justice background for you: There are four classes ofmisdemeanors, 1-4. Class 4 misdemeanors have a maximum penalty of $250,class 3 have a maximum penalty of $500, class 2 have a maximum penalty of 6months in jail and $1,000 fine, and class 1 have a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and $2,500 fine.The lowest level felony is a class 6 felony. Sen. Norment and Delegate Griffith have put in SB 592 and HB 656. They are calling for changing the penalty for cockfighting with gambling from a class 3 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony. Quite a jump! Mind you, I am no fan of criminal cockfighting, but spending $25,000 a year to put a chicken fighter in jail doesn’t make sense to me. Another side note: it costs roughly $25,000 per year to keep someone in prison, and about 70% of our prison beds are occupied by violent criminals (i.e., they were violent toward another human, not a chicken). I would have supported changing the penalty from a class 3 misdemeanor to a class 2 misdemeanor so jail time would be available, but I try hard to make criminal justice decisions based on the WHOLE criminal justice system. Maybe you are asking, what do you mean by that? Well, let me tell you about some things that are class 1 misdemeanors, so you get an idea of what I am talking about? Assault or Battery by Mob Recruitment into a known criminal street gang (e.g., MS-13),Kidnapping by a parent, Hazing of youth gang members, Reckless handling of a firearm so as to endanger life, limb or property, Assault and Battery, Assault and Battery against a household member (i.e., domestic violence)Threat to kill or harm school personnel while on school property, Stalking, wherein the victim is put in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury, Sexual Battery, Infected sexual battery, Now, let me ask all of you, do you think that fighting chickens (remember now, they’re NOT HUMANS) 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. Cockfighting does not warrant being treated as a worse offense than class 1 misdemeanor like these. Remember, as these bills were introduced, Sen.Norment and Delegate Griffith wanted to make cockfighting a felony? Much worse than a misdemeanor. Do you know anyone that’s been the victim of sexual battery? I do. It can have a profound and devastating effect on the victim and their family. Domestic violence can wreak similar devastation. And the list goes on? How about fighting chickens? IMHO, it’s just not on the same level as other class 1 misdemeanors. Again, I don’t support fighting dogs, chickens, oranimals of any kind for sport, for gambling, or for any other reason. I recognize that we need to address cruelty to animals as a criminal offense (as we already do). I even support making cockfighting a jail able offense, i.e., a class 2 misdemeanor. But we have to keep it inperspective. PEOPLE are more important than animals. Period. And we need to save and spend our precious tax dollars wisely. I do not think it makes sense to spend $25,000 a year to put a chicken fighter in prison, when that money could be used addressing our jailing, Parental kidnappers, criminals that sexually abuse other human beings, those that commit assault and battery, etc. That is why I am opposed to any of these bills in their current form, because it puts crimes against chickens on a par with crimes against human beings in our criminal justice system, and I do NOT support such a change. I guess you could say that I’m Pro-people. Of course, I do like a good steak or other meats I choose to eat.

Tinula writes:

So what happens to our chickens now? Do we need to start killing them now or could we keep them so long as we don't make them fight?

gregory gipson writes:

WHEN YOU SEE A POLICE OFFICER RUN A MAN DOWN IN A CROSSWALK AND THEN CHARGE HIM FOR IT WHILE HE IS IN THE HOSPITAL DO YOU THINK THAT THEY CARE IF YOU FIGHT YOUR CHICKENS OR NOT THEY ARE GOING TO BUST YOUR DOOR DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT HOLD YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AT GUN POINT MAYBE THEY WILL BRING THE EVIDENCE WITH THEM THEY MAY KILL ONE OF YOUR KIDS AS HE WALKS DOWN YOUR HALLWAY AND STARTLES A POLICE OFFICER SO DO WHAT YOU WANT BUTT I WILL NOT KEEP A SINGLE CHICKEN DO TO THAT FACT IS IT WORTH LOSING YOUR LIFE FOR OR EVEN WORSE ONE OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS JUST REMEMBER ITS NOT INOCENT TILL PROVE GUITY ANYMORE WE HAVE PROGRESSED PAST THAT NOW ITS GUILTY UNTIL YOU PROVE YOURSELF INOCENT BY THEN THEY WILL HAVE KILLED EVERYTHING YOU OWN ANYWAY SO IF YOU HAVE THAT MUCH MONEY YOU CAN MOVE TO MEXICO PUERTO RICO OR THE PHILIPINES SO DO YOU WANT TO BE IN PRISON OVER YOUR CHICKENS OR MAYBE EVEN DEAD BECAUSE THEY DONT CARE THEY WILL KILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WELCOME TO AMERIKA PEOPLE

Claire Ward writes:

Tinula-

There is no need to dispatch your chickens. The proposed legislation seeks to make chickenfighting, not chicken keeping, illegal.

Cross Creek writes:

02/01/08 House: Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (22-Y 0-N)
02/01/08 House: Referred to Committee on Appropriations

Does anyone have a clue what the substitute is?

gregory gipson writes:

being suspected is enough how will you look when the media puts there spin on it you will lose your job have thousands of dollars to defend yorself hopefully you have got a lot of money in your 401k so you can take a loan from it then watch that attorney of yours want you to take the deal and plead out for doing nothing wrong better get ready

CCGF writes:

6. Possess or administer to an animal any device or substance intended to enhance an animal's ability to fight.

What kinda devises or subtances are they talking about here ? Shouldn't they be specified ?

Cross Creek writes:

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+HB656H1

Here is the link to the Substitute for this bill.

Cross Creek writes:

That is as broad as it is long, so to speak. The bills are getting ridiculous and I can not see why they feel justified to introduce such hog wash. Makes you wonder where this world is heading.

Cross Creek writes:

Waldo Jaquith writes:
Amazing that a thousand angry cockfighters couldn't muster one person to go to the General Assembly and speak against the bill.

You make a good point, which is why those same people you referred too are going to show up at the General Assembly Building very soon to protest in the streets of Richmond against these ridiculous bills. When they see these same people they have already been e-mailed by and had conversations with on the phones it may get their attention. How will the General Assembly respond to us then? From what I am hearing the media will be all over this and will be notified approximately one hour prior to our arrival so they can take pictures, have live news crews on hand to watch a bunch of good hearted Virginian's non-violently protest and show their opposition to SB592 and HB656. I may even call you Waldo so you can come watch as well. What kind of political damage will this do to our Legislators who are in support of these said bills? But can these Senators and Delegates respond to the people whom have expressed their opposition to the bills and have repeatedly been ignored? These angry people want to be heard, seen and get the answers from the people pushing these bills.

Claire Ward writes:

Looks as if SB592 passed the Senate with a 39-0 vote. This suggests to me that legislators have listened to their constituencies and are voting in accordance with their wishes. Simply stated, more people are in favor of these bills than against them. Of course, this is only my interpretation.

Richmond Leaders writes:

Richmond Leaders.com discusses this bill on there website and offers an interesting insight to it. Check it out: http://www.richmondleaders.com/2008/01/30/playing-chicken-at-the-general-assembly/

Cross Creek writes:

Claire Ward writes:

Looks as if SB592 passed the Senate with a 39-0 vote. This suggests to me that legislators have listened to their constituencies and are voting in accordance with their wishes.

Claire is the Humane Society of the United States on their constituents list???
Because that is who they listened to.
General Assembly had over 2000 bills this session and nearly 200 of them were animal bills. SAD!

Waldo Jaquith writes:

General Assembly had over 2000 bills this session and nearly 200 of them were animal bills.

That's not even vaguely in the neighborhood of being true. You're off by an order of magnitude. Try something closer to twenty.

Cross Creek writes:

I stand to be corrected, 21. But still sad. Especially when you had 4 bills at one time covering the same thing.

Willy writes:

It looks like the vote of the people wasn`t counted ,by the poll numbers, but by some outside influence.

GREGORY GIPSON writes:

I just watched that there are 19000 computers with hard core childporn on them but funding was not available for following up on this issue being that i am the father of 3 children would anyone like to come squirell hunting with me so we can talk about this issue I might even treat them to some chicken selects If you would like get real people

CCGF writes:

Sen. Puckett called me yesterday about SB592/HB656 and agreed with the fact that a felony was unreasonable in regards to gamefowl and had tried to have it left at a misdemenor, but was unsuccessful. He also stated that it was unfortunate that animal rights groups had "roosters / chickens" attached to this dog bill. He also said it seems unfair that animals crimes were being placed above and on a higher level than crimes on humans. I know how he has voted so far, lets see how he votes from here on out. I think he knows how the majority of his constituents wants him to vote concerning this / these bills. What will he do ?

Claire Ward writes:

There's nothing he can do now. The bill is out of the senate. However, it was kind of him to call you after the fact.

Cross Creek writes:

Last session SB1190 made it out of the Senate also, so lets hope for a repeat performance.

GREGORY GIPSON writes:

In times like this when the economy is in the state that it is in it would make more since to concentrate on more important issues than make felons out of the people who pay taxes just for enjoying their cultural activities just because some people do not agree with them just read the anti hunting letter to the daily progress 02/08/08 today people who hunt with dos had better get ready your next is cockfighting any worse than coon hunting or even rabbit hunting with beagles poor little wabbit and Ilove rabbit hunting is it as bad as paying someone good money to shoot a pheasant that was raised in a pen set in a feild and will not fly until you kick him in the butt is it realy

Cross Creek writes:

That is the biggest question , where does all this madness end ?

CCGF writes:

I have a voicemail (recieved 2/6/08) from Sen. Philip Puckett, basically sympathizing with the gamefowl breeders. He states," It is seems unreasonable to raise cockfighting to a felony when there are more serious human crimes that are misdeamenors." He also states,"That it is unfortunate that animal rights people have had cockfighting attached to the dogfighting bills & they had tried to leave it a misdeamenor, but THEY wouldn't do it." All do respect, but why would he state his above feelings and still uphold the bill as it reads ? I feel most legislators have not put their personal feelings aside or have been influenced in some way by special interest groups instead of listening to the majority of their constituents when pushing these bills.
I would like to say THANKS to; Del.Clarke Hogan, Del.Bud Phillips, Del.Danny Bowling, you guys stepped up for the people.

Bob Kane writes:

Waldo Jaquith writes:

General Assembly had over 2000 bills this session and nearly 200 of them were animal bills.

That's not even vaguely in the neighborhood of being true. You're off by an order of magnitude. Try something closer to twenty.

Posted 3 days ago. #

Waldo: I could list something between 40 and 50, but the exact number isn't the issue. It's the vast number of bad animal bills and repeat rejections from prior sessions that clog the system and steal time from serious legislative business.

GREGORY GIPSON writes:

MAYBE SOMEONE CAN POST WHAT A PERSON CAN DO WITH THEIR CHICKENS TO KEEP FROM BEING PROSECUTED AFTER THIS COMES IN IF THEY ARE LEGAL TODAY BUT NOT TOMORROW WHAT IS A LEGAL TAX PAYING CITIZEN AND THEIR FAMILY TO DO IS THE STATE SUPPOSED TO PAY YOU FOR YOUR CHICKENS (PROPERTY)

Cross Creek writes:

I think some adjustment time is needed to citizens to come into compliance when and if they are passed.

Cross Creek writes:

I hope to see those resposible for these HSUS pushed and backed bills loose their office next election term. Regardless of what party I feel if they are influenced by anyone other than their own people they should never hold office again.

Cross Creek writes:

Especially Bob McDonnell, Tommy Norment and Morgan Griffith. These guys publicly admitted they were joining the leadership of the Humane Society of the United States. I am or was a Republican; I think I have altered my way of thinking on the state level below governor. I will do extent background review of any person I vote for in the future in all offices where I have a vote in.

Cross Creek writes:

This bill had its first reading today, appears they are trying to pass it threw fast to make cross over week with the Senate.

GREGORY GIPSON writes:

ALL OF THIS STUFF IS REALY MAKING IT HARD FOR ME TO DECIDE WHICH WAY TO GO TUESDAY IN THE PRES PRIMARY AFTER VOTING CONSEVATIVE FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS

Cross Creek writes:

Obama has done made it clear he is a animal rights supporter.

CCGF writes:

I didn't know the average American ate over 75lbs of chicken meat each year. Interesting. Check out the following link for more information. Chicken eating is a lot crueler than chicken fighting in my book.
45 Days: The Life and Death of a Broiler Chicken
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KXZu65HpUA

Seems to me like the special interest groups have big job ahead of them than with chicken fighting. Think I'll head over to KFC for lunch ?

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.

Cross Creek writes:

Rev. Aldridge writes:
This is as a repugnent part of Virginia history as slavery was. You folks need to get over it, and find a new hobby.

Only those sadistic people who torture animals for fun and profit would object to this humane bill.

Seems you have a habit of slick name calling, why is there a need for this Rev., quit speaking with the forked tongue long enough to understand one thing, today is cockfighting, tomorrow will probably be owning guns, the next day may be hunting, fishing and next week it will be do we have the right to even eat beef, pork or chicken. Chickens are not even in the same class as slaves, slaves were humans and this is where people need to realize it is night and days comparison because chickens are animals, they have game fowl enthusiasts, farmers, Tyson Meat plant or KFC to look forward to. On the other hand slavery was wrong, it was mistreating humans, humans are the dominant species on earth regardless of others beliefs. Humans have every right to enjoy their life, freedom without having special interest groups take every little right for us away. I fought for freedom twice and I feel if I want to own a chicken, gun, hunt or fish, even down to eating a juicy steak it is my right to, I do not need someone, just because they believe different or disagree to push laws every single year and make attempts to take our rights away. Simple if I don't like something or someone I stay away, I have that right to do that maybe some of the people who like pushing their beliefs on others should have the same common courteousness. This is American remember, the land of the free the home of the brave. Good day and in today’s world we have to agree to disagree sometimes and go our separate ways and live our lives as we choose. If you don't like cockfighting or chickens it is simple, don't go, stay away from them, I am sure they are not forcing it down your throat, they don't mine and I own chickens. My question where and when is all this going to change, when will us Americans ever get back to our constitution and what this wonderful country was built on? Peace!!

Jackie Hutson writes:

Cross Creek - If you were to tell Rev. Aldridge that next they will be reinstating prohibition, ie no WINE - that would get his attention and might even make him cry.
Every cockster in the State needs to take about fifty (50) cocks down to the SPCA on 06/30/08 and have those fine people find the birds a good home. After all, they pushed this bill through to save chickens and if we can't fight them, its chop chop time! But then again, that's not considered cruelty to animals?!?!?!?!?!?!

Cross Creek writes:

Jackie Hutson, I would refuse to take my game fowl to the SPCA, HSUS, PETA or any other animal rights group for that fact. The reason is they are fakes; they do not care for animals it is all a publicity issue to gain tax free funding and free money. If they really cared for animals such as the gamecock they would have appropriate holding pens for them, and have staff trained to know how to take care of them properly. The truth is these groups have never tried to save any cock in any raid they have ever had. Why you ask, because they don't want to, it is easier to euthanized them and be done with it. Like a bully in school who just took something from you and destroyed it so you could not have it. This is the way these people do. There have been more animals killed by the hands of these said groups who claim to save them than there ever has been by anyone else in the United States. If you don't believe me, search the Internet, it is full of information they don't want people to see. The day is coming that these groups will be exposed for their hidden agenda and it will reveal the truth that they are out to destroy them instead of saving them. I would as soon keep my fowl here and let them die of old age before trusting that these groups would do the right thing, because the right thing is not in them at all. If we were to all take 50 cocks to them they would turn it around to make themselves appear to be heroes instead of the people they really are.

Jackie Hutson writes:

Cross Creek - I am fully aware of their agendas and their two faced ways. Like PETA picking up cats and dogs from animal shelters because they were going to find them good homes, KILLING them, then throwing their bodies in a Food Lion dumpster. And what were they convicted of? Littering!!! The HSUS is a finely tuned political machine. They have millions of dollars from donations but don't run or manage the first animal shelter. I was speaking with tongue in cheek! Imagine, just for laughs, they get 250,000 cocks dumped on them. They couldn't kill them fast enough.

Claire Ward writes:

Once again, I really don't understand what all the commotion is about. This bill criminalizes chicken fighting, not chicken raising. If you want to raise game fowl, fine-keep on keeping on. If you want to stage cockfights for fun and profit-not so fine. You'll get into tons of trouble if you get caught. Seems pretty straight forward to me.

The other thing that I don't understand (and that has never been explained to my satisfaction) is exactly what is so fun about watching animals fight to the death? Seriously-I just can't fathom why that would be a good use of anyone's time. But once again, that's just my opinion.

Cross Creek writes:

Claire Ward writes:
The other thing that I don't understand (and that has never been explained to my satisfaction) is exactly what is so fun about watching animals fight to the death? Seriously-I just can't fathom why that would be a good use of anyone's time. But once again, that's just my opinion.

Claire why should anyone have to satisfy you with a reason? As long as no one is forcing their beliefs or views on you that should be what matters the most. I love steak you may hate it, why should I try to make you like it or you make me not like it? American was built on freedom of choice, we all have the right to go to places or not go to places as you mentioned above. I am sure no one is beating down your door trying to get you to go to a cockfight, but I know people are beating down doors trying to get people to do away with the sport in general. I respect your wishes, if you do not like it, please by all means don't ever go, it is your constitutional right. So with all due respect just because you don't believe in something don't feel that the ones that do and have been raised in the culture for all their lives are wrong. There are many religions and everyone has the right to choose what religious practice they feel the need to join and uphold. All comes down to the freedom of choice, should you be a criminal because you are doing something that someone else does not approve of as long as your not committing violent crimes against Humans or their property?

CCGF writes:

http://www.naiaonline.org/body/articles/archives/animalrightsquote.htm#Hunt

Here for all you people that don't know who the PETA, HSUS, and like groups are. And you people that say cockfighting is cruel. Go figure.
If a retarded baby and a dog was drowning and you could save one which one would it be ? One of the above supporters (PETA,HSUS,etc...) said, "It would depend on how bright the dog was."

If you support these groups and their leaders, beliefs, that makes you a TERRORIST as well. I'd rather be called a cockfighter, cockster (never heard that one), or what ever any day.

Cross Creek writes:

From my understanding (This was told to me by a political source so I am going by what they said) Virginia's Attorney General Bob McDonnell and his sidekicks are already pressuring out Delegates and Senators to push these bills through. He basically spoke to them and told them that their Political careers and campaign funds were in jeopardy if these bills failed to pass. Maybe since he has already let it be known he has joined the leadership of the Humane Society of the United States and him along with his Republican counter parts are pushing the issue so hard there may be something in it for him. I mean one can only speculate, but seeing how things are money driven these days it leads one to wonder if our Legislation process has been tainted by funds from special interests groups. I feel if this has went on, is going on, or has been though about going on, such said person or persons should have their powers removed and be removed from their office they currently hold. They need to call Governor Richardson in New Mexico, he fell into a HSUS trap and pushed the bills they wanted, got his money and when all the promises of helping him in his Presidential race fell through Mr. Richardson got left holding the bag. Our legislators need to remember who holds the power of the vote. Us poor to middle class Virginians may not be able to flash millions of tax-free dollars around like HSUS and other groups do, but we do hold the power of the Vote. The way I see it, due to his support and the Republican support of the HSUS next election I would not be surprised at all if the Democratic Party holds the Majority in the House, Senate all the way to Governor. Then we can see if they like the bullying type method they have used on the Democrats this session.

Claire Ward writes:

Gee, Cross Creek-I'm sorry if I hit a nerve there. I was only asking a question. No reason to get huffy, buddy. Happy Valentine's Day.

Jackie Hutson writes:

On the Richmond SPCA's website, Robin Starr immensely thanks Attorney General Bob McDonnell and Delegate Ward Armstrong for "all the time and effort they put into seeing these bills adopted". So Cross Creek, I would say you can believe your political source.

Cross Creek writes:

I know I have a good source, they were right there when it happened...lol But I will never give them up and no one would ever guess who it was.

Cross Creek writes:

Claire Ward writes:

Gee, Cross Creek-I'm sorry if I hit a nerve there. I was only asking a question. No reason to get huffy, buddy. Happy Valentine's Day.

You didn't hit a nerve, and I am not huffy. I actually am having a pretty good day, and happy V day to you as well. I was basically spaking what was on my mind, no disrespect intended.

Cross Creek writes:

Seeing how the House already made certain amendments to HB656 prior to it being transferred to the Senate, I am curious as to if and what amendments they will make to SB592? This is a process I have not seen yet since following bills in the legislation, what steps are normally taken when there are two bills which are very similar? Are there chances they will both become law, or incorporate them into one or what is the normal process if someone would please help enlighten me?

Cross Creek writes:

When looking at this issue I feel HB1465 would have served the purpose of the General Assembly this session. I feel it would have gained a lot more support than HB656 or SB592 have or will get.

Cross Creek writes:

Jackie Hutson writes:

On the Richmond SPCA's website, Robin Starr immensely thanks Attorney General Bob McDonnell and Delegate Ward Armstrong for "all the time and effort they put into seeing these bills adopted". So Cross Creek, I would say you can believe your political source.

Alot of people know about the political pressure being placed on our Delegates and Senators by the Attorney General. That part is a well documented and many people know about his actions all over Virginia. I feel this taints our legislative process and is unfair to the people of Virginia. When someone in his position pushes an issue and makes the statements he made to certain members of the legislative process, I feel it unconstitutionally puts our politicians in a no-win situation. Actually changes our legislative process from a point of democracy to a dictatorship. This type of stuff should be forbidden and those who violate it should be delt with.

Jackie Hutson writes:

Cross Creek - HB656 is still in committee. If SB592 becomes law, they will leave HB656 where it is. SB592 was referred to the House Court of Justice where its fate will be decided tomorrow.

Cross Creek writes:

I guess we will get a better idea monday what direction both of these bills are going in.

Cross Creek writes:

I would like to see something good come from this committee; I feel an amended version of this bill is needed in a bad kind of way. Especially when you think about the crime versus time subject, Virginia would have some issues with this if passed. Especially when you consider Virginia has violent crimes against humans that do not carry as stiff of a penalty.
The following crimes are only a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia:
Assault or Battery by Mob
Recruitment into a known criminal street gang (e.g., MS-13)
Kidnapping by a parent
Hazing of youth gang members
Reckless handling of a firearm so as to endanger life, limb or property
Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery against a household member (i.e., domestic violence)
Threat to kill or harm school personnel while on school property
Stalking, wherein the victim is put in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury
Sexual Battery
Infected sexual battery
How can we justify that the life of a chicken is more valuable to the people of Virginia than the crimes against Humans that I listed above? Before you say it, Dogfighting is already a class 6 felony in Virginia and to add the same type of penalty on a chicken makes no sense. I feel the life of a companion animal far exceeds the life of a chicken. Think about what a chicken has to look forward to in its life, KFC, Tyson or some egg laying chicken house where they live in a cage. If this bill passes people will be terrified to even keep a chicken due to the fear of being harassed because they own them. What happens when I go in the back yard, pick out 4 or 5 chickens and cut off their heads and pluck off their feathers and then eat them? Will I have violated the law? A lot of people fail to realize if these bills pass in their current state it could hurt VA alot in the poultry enterprise. I already know of two feed supply stores that have shut their doors, laid off their employees and are filing bankruptcy because they cannot sell enough feed due to the people who have already gotten rid of their chickens in fear of what could happen. How does this help our economy? Unemployment rate? And Welfare? I know one of the workers had 5 kids, think of how many tax dollars are going to go to help keep that family up. Especially in rural areas of Virginia, this will cripple any agriculture type businesses and already has started taking its toll. In Virginia agriculture is one of the leading revenues, what comes next? I do not feel the special interest groups will ever be satisfied with anything the General Assembly does until they accomplish their over all objective to end any type of animal use.
Look at California, Beef Recall!!!
Why did the Humane Society of the United States sit on video coverage that has caused a recall of millions of tons of beef for so many months before they reported it? If they were truly out for the best interests of the humans in the world they would have took that evidence immediately and reported it and tried to stop the beef from even leaving the slaughter house. Instead they sit on it and make a big issue after tons of the beef has done been consumed by innocent people. To me these groups need put in their places, they are destroying life as many of us have known for centuries. America is suppose to be the land of the free, but with groups such as this we are turning away from that very quickly. I hope they do the right thing with all these ridiculous bills that are introduced and pushed by them every single session of the General Assembly. God Bless the U.S.

Cross Creek writes:

Has anyone heard anything on this bill today?

Rev. Aldridge writes:

02/25/08 Senate: Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources (15-Y 0-N)
02/25/08 Senate: Rereferred to Finance

Claire Ward writes:

Once again, HB656 proposes criminalization of chickenfighting for fun and profit-that's all it does. People who keep chickens as pets or as potential food sources have nothing to fear. The bill targets chicken fighters-not chickens.

Cross Creek writes:

Claire Ward writes:

Once again, HB656 proposes criminalization of chickenfighting for fun and profit-that's all it does. People who keep chickens as pets or as potential food sources have nothing to fear. The bill targets chicken fighters-not chickens.

You say that now, but wait another year or two down the road. This is only the beginning and it will only get worse from this point. Before we know it we will not be allowed to even eat chicken, beef or pork or any animal for that matter. If you give the Humane Society of the United States an inch they will take a mile. So continue to paint that pretty picture the same one John Goodwin and Wayne Parcelle are selling to every legislation across the United States. I am not fooled for a second, I know where all of this is going and I will continue to fight every form of their agenda until the day I die. So believe the lies, keep on making people think it is ok to keep taking rights away from them. Because those who are not blind will realize what the real truth is on this matter soon enough. God bless you, but I fail to see the same thing you do. What I feel you fail to realize is the truth and the fact these groups are no good and are destroying everything generations of our families have shed blood and lost lives for. Our country is imploding from the inside as we speak and before you know it we will all be fighting each other in the streets, ones that will be filled with violence. We are our own worst enemy, and we need to get back to things that helped build this great country before it is too late.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

You say that now, but wait another year or two down the road. This is only the beginning and it will only get worse from this point. Before we know it we will not be allowed to even eat chicken, beef or pork or any animal for that matter.

Who wants to make a bet? A $1,000 bet, right now, with the proceeds going to either the Humane Society or the Virginia Gamefowl Breeders Association, depending on who wins. The bet is whether or not the General Assembly bars the consumption of chicken, pork, or beef by a law has the effect of making it illegal in Virginia. The bet will be collected on at the close of the 2009 General Assembly session.

This should be easy money, given how totally inevitable you say this is. Right?

Who's game?

Cross Creek writes:

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Who wants to make a bet? A $1,000 bet, right now, with the proceeds going to either the Humane Society or the Virginia Gamefowl Breeders Association, depending on who wins. The bet is whether or not the General Assembly bars the consumption of chicken, pork, or beef by a law has the effect of making it illegal in Virginia. The bet will be collected on at the close of the 2009 General Assembly session.

Sorry Waldo, I do not gamble it is illegal in Virginia. Even though our Governor bet the governor from Kansas on the VT- Kansas football game, I will not follow suit. I don't understand why you would try to gamble and make a wager online as you have, you should check on the laws on that, I sure would hate to see you where I work. ;-}

Cross Creek writes:

§ 18.2-325. Definitions.

1. "Illegal gambling" means the making, placing or receipt, of any bet or wager in this Commonwealth of money or other thing of value, made in exchange for a chance to win a prize, stake or other consideration or thing of value, dependent upon the result of any game, contest or any other event the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance, whether such game, contest or event, occurs or is to occur inside or outside the limits of this Commonwealth.

Cross Creek writes:

§ 18.2-326. Penalty for illegal gambling.

Except as otherwise provided in this article, any person who illegally gambles or engages in interstate gambling as defined in § 18.2-325 shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. If an association or pool of persons illegally gamble, each person therein shall be guilty of illegal gambling.

Cross Creek writes:

I guess we need to increase this penalty to a Class 6 Felony as well, what do you think???

Waldo Jaquith writes:

There is no chance to win a prize because the money goes to charity. Neither party is enriched, hence it's perfectly legal.

So you'll take the bet?

Cross Creek writes:

Like I said I do not gamble for any reason. But I can see what I said happening in the enar future.

Cross Creek writes:

enar = near

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Given that this is a certainty, though, it wouldn't really be gambling, would it? After all, you'd place a $1,000 bet on whether the sun would rise tomorrow morning, wouldn't you?

It seems I've found the world's only chicken fighter who doesn't gamble!

Well, with all of the people here opposing this bill, surely somebody will place this bet.

Somebody?

Anybody?

*crickets chirping*

Cross Creek writes:

But see you assumed but failed to realize I do not fight fowl, I raise them for show in American Game Fowl Society events, 4H camps and county fairs. So again you are wrong, I just feel it is not right to make it a felony as we have weaker crimes for violence against Humans. I do not like what HSUS have done across the nation. But it is my opinion the only thing I am entitled to anymore it seems, but stay tuned they might take that from us next.

Big Al writes:

What a fascinating discussion! My oh my, the arguments against this bill are fascinating. Let's see... if the bill becomes law then Cross Creek won't be allowed to raise his chickens in peace. Isn't that like saying outlawing drag racing is one step in the process the gov'mint is using to take our cars away?

There's always so much misinformation about bills such as this one. Special interests know how to find the reactionaries, don't they?

And A&M, seriously - if somebody doesn't approve of cockfighting then all they need to do is not attend one? Does that mean if somebody doesn't approve of gang rape or - HEAVEN FORBID - gay weddings, then all they need to do is not attend one? I'm just asking.

Cross Creek writes:

Big Al writes:

What a fascinating discussion! My oh my, the arguments against this bill are fascinating. Let's see... if the bill becomes law then Cross Creek won't be allowed to raise his chickens in peace. Isn't that like saying outlawing drag racing is one step in the process the gov'mint is using to take our cars away?

For your information, which it really isn't any of your business, but I am a state employee. I cannot do anything in violation of any law or my job is toast. I have a love for game fowl, as I have owned them nearly all my life. I see real criminals every day I work, and I just can not see where adding a felony to this victimless crime is justifiable when we have crimes against human beings that carry a lesser penalty. As far as me not being able to raise my fowl in peace, that is a fact. I will live in fear as long as I own fowl because of the possibility of being falsely accused. All it takes is someone to swear out a complaint and then there I go, suspended from my job until the outcome of my hearing, having to spend thousands of dollars to prove my innocents. Yes I will not be able to live in peace because groups such as the HSUS constantly are harassing innocent people. And to compare cockfighting to gang rape or gay weddings is ridiculous, gang rape is a crime against a person, a violent crime with a victim. And we all know Gay weddings are against anything the Bible speaks about and current laws. It is people such as you whom cannot understand that the life of a human is more valuable than the life of a chicken, an animal that is killed and consumed by humans every day for different reason. People eat chicken, not dogs and cats. Well in certain countries they eat companion animals. History speaks for itself; once the HSUS gets a law passed they continue to press for stiffer penalties for anything to do with it, even ownership of said animals. Many people who are of my family tree have shed blood and lost lives in the name of Freedom, I hate to see anything taken from us as Americans. It is my opinion and that is the onlything I have left unless someone introduces a bill next session tot ake that away from us as well. God bless you.

Big Al writes:

CC - you assume things about me that are far from reality. I'm not a PETA person. I don't value the lives of chickens over those of humans. MANY people in my family, going back to the Revolution, have died to create and defend this country. You claim that you have some sort of special standing because you were in the military. Upon what do you base that claim? Does that mean your opinion carries extra special weight (or at least SHOULD)? Does that trump the opinion of anybody who didn't serve? What happens if somebody who served has another viewpoint? Does that cause a conflagration never before seen in the earth's history?

Seriously - you served. We're grateful. Thanks! Turn the page.

I eat chicken. In fact, I find it quite tasty. That doesn't mean I think it's okay to encourage the brutal, sub-human crime of cockfighting. I don't give a rat's ass about how it might be part of our heritage - it's time to move on. Slavery is part of our heritage. Suppressing women is part of our heritage. Putting children in sweatshops is part of our heritage. Committing genocide against Native Americans is part of our heritage.

As for your statement that animal cruelty doesn't have anything to do with creating criminals, you're right - the vast majority of the inmates you lord over probably didn't engage in animal cruelty. The vast majority of human beings don't engage in animal cruelty. However, study after study has shown that a frighteningly high percentage of serial killers did, in fact, behave cruelly toward animals in their youth. Maybe you don't encounter many serial killers where you are, and maybe you aren't trained in analyzing their psyches.

It sounds like you MIGHT be a decent guy who just likes to raise his chickens. But you sure do protest the proposed law like somebody who has something to hide. You worry about somebody falsely claiming you're fighting chickens? If you aren't then what's the big deal? How is this any different from somebody falsely accusing you of engaging in kiddie porn (Attention Lunatic Fringe: I did NOT just accuse Cross Creek of engaging in kiddie porn!). Your analogy doesn't hold water. Dogfighting is illegal, and we haven't seen dog breeders go down for raising poodles, or even pit bulls.

Remember - just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Cross Creek writes:

Big Al writes:
You claim that you have some sort of special standing because you were in the military. Upon what do you base that claim?

I am no more important than the next person, but I feel I have been a very productive citizen serving my country and my state. I also feel I should be able to raise my fowl without the fear of being harassed.

Big Al writes:
Maybe you don't encounter many serial killers where you are, and maybe you aren't trained in analyzing their psyches.

Well I can tell you in almost 16 years I have encountered many, as I work in a Maximum Security, and yes I do have a Degree in Law Enforcement and work hand in hand with Psychologists every day. We are trained to deal with all sorts of people and mental status. It does not matter what it is you will have cases when people do the right things with stuff and you have those who abuse it just like (Children, Spouse or Family members, Animals, Guns, Drugs). I feel it all goes back to the phrase " Guns don't kill people, but gun in the wrong peoples hands kill people". We just need to weed out the bad people in society.

Big Al writes:
It sounds like you MIGHT be a decent guy who just likes to raise his chickens.

This my friend is a known fact; just ask anyone who knows me. Also my Senator is suppose to be coming to visit my farm soon as he has requested, and to let me educate him more on Poultry and Game fowl.

Big Al writes:
You worry about somebody falsely claiming you're fighting chickens?

5. When any animal is possessed, owned, trained, transported, or sold with the intent that the animal engage in an exhibition of fighting with another animal; or

C. 1. Any animal control officer, as defined in § 3.1-796.66, shall confiscate any dogs animal that have been, are, or are he determines has been, is, or is intended to be used in Dogfighting animal fighting and any equipment used in training such dogs animal or used in Dogfighting animal fighting.

This I feel will open the doors for people to be falsely accused as for anyone who has ever been associated with any breed of chicken, they know the males will fight (Big Stock, Game, Bantams), that being said I feel, and this is my opinion that it opens the doors for us to be accused of wrong doing when it is just the nature of the beast so to speak. Anything is possible these days as I see people being arrested all the time because someone wants to get even with them and things of that nature. After thousands of dollars to prove they did nothing wrong all they can do in return in Virginia is to file a Civil Suite, but if the person has nothing you are wasting your time there.

Big Al writes:
Remember - just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

As the old saying goes "Watch as well as pray" as we do not know another persons intent anymore. There are vengeful people out there who will do anything to get at someone, especially someone retaliating against me for standing up for something I believe in and being so vocal about it.

There is a reason The Animal Terrorism Act Of 2006 was introduced and passed into Federal Law.

Rev. Aldridge writes:

02/27/08 Senate: Reported from Finance (16-Y 0-N)

Claire Ward writes:

A few comments here. First, Cross Creek's hyperbolic assertion that the criminalization of chicken fighting is a precursor to the criminalization of meat consumption by humans is completely absurd. As for his belief that he has to get rid of his chickens lest he be accused of being a chickenfighter, that seems preposterous as well. I own dogs and have never been accused of being a dogfighter.

Should Cross Creek be overwhelmed by paranoia and choose to get rid of his chickens, there are reasonable alternatives. I like chickens. I enjoy seeing all of the different types that are shown at the State Fair. I also enjoy seeing the wild chickens that roam the streets of Key West and always visit the Key West chicken store and hospital whenever I'm down there. So when people started writing about killing their chickens, I did some research. It turns out that there are several chicken rescue leagues. There are even chicken sanctuaries. So, in the event that one feels the need to divest your chickens-there are other places where they can find a home.

Cross Creek writes:

Claire Ward, this is not just about Cross Creek, you speak as if I am the only one that opposes this bill. Google the web, see if any chicken in the past 5 to 10 years have ever been rescued or saved. Like I said, what I posted above is my opinion, the only thing I felt I had left until people such as you and a few others criticize everything I post. It seems that you feel you have the answers to everything and are above everyone else, but in return it is only your opinion.

Cross Creek writes:
That being said I feel, and this is my opinion that it opens the doors for us to be accused of wrong doing when it is just the nature of the beast so to speak.

Claire Ward writes: I also enjoy seeing the wild chickens that roam the streets of Key West and always visit the Key West chicken store and hospital whenever I'm down there.

Well this is not Key West, and I could care less about it, but I do like having the right to have my fowl run free at my home here in Virginia. If you like Key West so much maybe you should consider relocating there. I also could care less what your or anyone else’s opinion of me is, because I only answer to the good lord above. Thank you and God bless you, because I really have nothing else to say to you.

CCGF writes:

Big Al writes:
I eat chicken. In fact, I find it quite tasty. That doesn't mean I think it's okay to encourage the brutal, sub-human crime of cockfighting.

You need to take a look at what broilers go through in their very short lives,before they make it to our tables. I think being confined in dark, over crowded chicken houses, being feed steroids to the point their bodies out grow their legs leaving them to wallow in their own crap. Not to mention being hung up on a machine by their legs and have their heads ripped off as the trip to the stores, resturants, and our tables begin. And you say cockfighting is sub-human. Here's the link if you don't want to take the time to look it up. 45 Days: The Life and Death of a Broiler Chicken
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KXZu65HpUA

These new felony laws will not stop people from fighting chickens. A lot of peoples lives and well beings are based around these birds - breeding, raising, selling, and yes fighting. Google gamecock conditioning feeds to see how many different companies and brands that are out there. This is going to hurt feed industry quite a bit as well.
Heck, the same popular stores you buy your seed & garden supplies (Tractor Supply Co., Southern States, etc...) carry gamecock conditioning feeds, supplements,etc.. and have for years. Guess they'll have to take the gamecocks off the front of the bags & change the name - No more Rock'n Rooster at Southern States.
BTW - If I attacked someone like you folks have attacked CC I'd be thrown off the site.

I hope my son or daughter will never have to serve & fight for this country. To think I used to look up to the flag.

Cross Creek writes:

CCGF writes: These new felony laws will not stop people from fighting chickens.

You’re absolutely right; these unjust laws will only drive it underground, at least they can monitor it easily now, but I feel that will change soon. It has survived for centuries and I feel it will for many more as there are people who could care less what the laws are. I am one that cares; I don’t fight fowl now because it is illegal. I personally try not to break any laws, I have had one speeding ticket in my life and I got it when I came home from Desert Storm and was in a hurry to get home to my family whom I had not seen in 8 months. Even then I could have talked my way out of the ticket, but I didn’t because I was wrong for speeding. That is the type of person I am, I go to church regularly and I try living a righteous lifestyle. But back on the subject at hand, Virginia has stiff felony drug laws, but yet everyday drugs and drug dealers run freely up and down our highways. Drugs are in the rural areas and even more in the urban areas, these people are infecting our streets with drugs that are causing serious crimes, deaths and even selling them to our children. If they can't clean the streets up what makes them think they can clean up the mountains and other areas people will choose to hide this type of event. I guess they will start patrolling the streets with Chicken and Weapon detecting dogs. Just like guns, most of these gun laws take the guns out of the citizen’s hands that are not abusing them and need them for hunting and self defense. There are enough illegal guns floating around in our state and other places to fight a small war, but yet we blame the guns. Guns are not what kill people; it is these guns in the wrong hands that are killing our fellow Americans. We need to start finding ways to deal with things in our state and country, better ways than slapping a felony status on it and thinking it will detour people from messing with it. In the end a criminal is a criminal and if they want to do something they will no matter if you stand over top of them. Putting felonies on non-violent victimless crimes, such as HB656 or SB592 will only burden our economy in the long run and keep our budget out of whack as it is now. The end result is we will be housing the ones that are caught in prison costing tax payers thousands if not millions of dollars a year, feeding their families on tax payers dollars as they have to sign up on welfare to survive, and in the end when they get out of prison we will have to keep the family up probably for the rest of their lives as it will be hard for them to get a descent job since they are now classified as Felons, costing us millions of more dollars a year. While we are doing what I just stated there will still be non-fearing criminals who will continue to do what they want, when they want because we do not have the funding or enough Law Enforcement staff the way it is to enforce all these laws that are passed every year. Even as we speak State employees are looking to not get a raise until 2009 and it will only be like a 2% raise in an effort to balance the budget due to wasteful spending by our state. We need to balance crime versus time and find alternative methods of dealing with non-violent victimless crimes. If we don’t before we know it there will be two types of people, people working in prisons and people locked up in them. Virginia needs a solution, not things that keep adding more burdens on our states economy and budget and raising taxes on its people to help fund these issues. God bless our beloved state.

Gerbera writes:

You need to take a look at what broilers go through in their very short lives,before they make it to our tables.

You'll find that many people are aware of what is happening and therefore are giving their business to reputable farms. In my area, meat from Polyface Farm is extremely popular!

Google the web, see if any chicken in the past 5 to 10 years have ever been rescued or saved.

Actually, I was watching Animal Cops just the other night on Animal Planet and the ASPCA rescued a huge group of chicks that were being dyed by a pet store (a ridiculous Easter promotion). After the vets checked them out, the chicks got sent to a chicken sanctuary in upstate New York!

find alternative methods of dealing with non-violent victimless crimes.

I agree with you on this point, but don't think it applies to this topic. I would think that someone who loves chickens would see them as victims when they are forced into a little pen to kill each other.

CCGF writes:

I can see half the people here that think cockfighting is so cruel & sadistic sitting at the table with grease running down their chins, a big ole chicken leg in one hand and a breast in the other.
We kill 8 billion plus chickens a year to feed our taste for the poor'lil critters. And from the video link I posted above, it looks like a gamecock lives a sweet life compared to a broiler chicken. HAVE ANY OF YOU WATCHED THIS VIDEO ? If you haven't it shows how they are raised, things they endure, and how they are killed, and eventually how they get to our tables. How can anybody says that letting TWO chickens fight is crueler than hanging them up by their feet by the THOUSANDS, everyday to have their throats cut & heads ripped off. So, think about what those tasty little chicken nuggets, strips, breast, hot wings etc.... go through before making it to your plate.
The American Gamecock lives a charmed, very long, and pampered lifestyle compared to the Broiler Chicken. Here's the link one more time.
45 Days: The Life and Death of a Broiler Chicken
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KXZu65HpUA
I could probably find a cockfighting video as well, then you could compare the videos - two cocks fighting (one dying) or "chicken eating" (billions dying).

CCGF writes:

Gerbera writes:
You'll find that many people are aware of what is happening and therefore are giving their business to reputable farms. In my area, meat from Polyface Farm is extremely popular!

CCGF: I can't see a small farm like Polyface in Swoop, Virginia satisfying the state's or countries need for chicken meat. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe they stated on their web site that keep 75 (seventy-five) chickens in a 10x12x2 pen, you'd never see this on a game fowl farm.

Plus, when I go to the Grocery store I have never seen Polyface Farms on any labels. I do see a lot of Purdue & Tyson labels though, hmmmmmm. Finger lick'n Good.

Gerbera writes:
Actually, I was watching Animal Cops just the other night on Animal Planet and the ASPCA rescued a huge group of chicks that were being dyed by a pet store (a ridiculous Easter promotion). After the vets checked them out, the chicks got sent to a chicken sanctuary in upstate New York!

CCGF: After saving the little dyed chicks and on the way to the vets the ASPCA officers probably ate lunch at KFC.

Claire Ward writes:

Sorry if I ruffled your feathers, Cross Creek. To one of your other points, there is an active chicken and game fowl sanctuary on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. You might want to google that some time. Or better yet, take the family for a visit. The Eastern Shore is lovely (and much closer than Key West!).

In a few days, HB656 will be law and the 2008 legislative session will end. Cross Creek, it's been fun chatting with you over the past weeks. I do wish the best of luck for you and your family. Oh, I also hope that you will find a legal hobby that is as fulfilling as chicken fighting. No hard feelings here. Ta ta.

CCGF writes:

Hey Cross Creek, I need a partner in my new "legal hobby". We can start our own line of truck balls. They couldn't pass that stupid law.
We can make bull balls, horse balls, goat balls, etc.... And I figure for the smaller trucks and cars we could make some squirrel balls.
It would be legal & more profitable than feeding a bunch of chickens. We could also imprint little captions on them like - Hey all you do gooders, you can lick my balls.
I also got an idea for some "rock'm sock'm type remote control chickens that people could customize and fight, like the TV show Robot Wars. It could be televised for the entire nation to enjoy.

Bryan McKenzie writes:

Forgive me for hijacking the thread for a moment, but I'd like to talk with Mr. Gipson about raising birds and these bills and what will happen if possessing the birds becomes illegal, especially now that the bill looks like it will pass. The number I had for you is no longer working. If there's any who raises the birds that would like to talk with me (I'm a reporter for a Charlottesville daily) get me bmckenzie@dailyprogress.com. I don't think the folks who own the birds have been heard on that point.

Bryan McKenzie writes:

Try this website (my blog) if you want to know more about me and my politics, etc, before you contact me.

CCGF writes:

Cross Creek is the one that gets attacked and he's the one that gets banned ? Go figure.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

This site is for discussing legislation. If you two want to talk to each other about things not concerning this legislation, I encourage you to e-mail one another. Richmond Sunlight isn't going to play host to it.

CCGF writes:

Waldo Jaquith writes:

This site is for discussing legislation. If you two want to talk to each other about things not concerning this legislation, I encourage you to e-mail one another. Richmond Sunlight isn't going to play host to it.

CCGF: Who are you addressing Sir. Again, it seems that it depends on which side of the fence you are on before are considered to be breaking the rules of this site. Has Cross Creek been officially banned from this site for expressing his concerns / opinions about these stupid laws. Let me know and I'll pass it on to him at work tonight.

If and when HB656 is passed, it will only push cockfighting further underground. HSUS, PETA, and like groups through the media want the public to believe that all cockfighters are terrible people (drug dealers,users,trafficers,murders,etc...) That simply isn't true. But, with the passing of this law HB656 you will be able to watch the crime surrounding cockfighting become more and more serious, because criminals don't care how severe the penalties are. So, you are not going to stop cockfighting EVER! You are not going to stop dog fighting EVER! You are not going to stop drugs, murder, or rape EVER! Just making the law/laws doesn't and won't stop the problem.

Cross Creek writes:

Bryan McKenzie writes:

If there's any who raises the birds that would like to talk with me (I'm a reporter for a Charlottesville daily) get me bmckenzie@dailyprogress.com. I don't think the folks who own the birds have been heard on that point.

I would be glad to speak with you, I will be in Richmond most of this upcoming week. Today I accepted the position of President of the Virginia Chapter of the American Game Fowl Society. So maybe we can help each other out.

My-e-mail is xranger@roadrunner.com

Cross Creek writes:

Claire Ward writes: Oh, I also hope that you will find a legal hobby that is as fulfilling as chicken fighting.

For the record, every person whom owns chickens does not fight them. Alot of innocent game fowl owners are stereo typed and it is just harassing and discriminatory in my opinion. I personally do not fight them, I have a hobby I love and that is raising and showing my fowl that I have kept pure over the many years I have owned them at an American Game Fowl Society sanctioned event, 4H camps and County Fairs. I love all aspects of breeding and raising fowl.

I actually accepted the position of President of the Virginia Chapter of the American Game Fowl Society today. I will over see an organization to help protect our rights of ownership and preserving these beautiful birds for show purposes.

Here is the web site for the National site, read up on us; we are legit on our efforts to preserve hundreds of strains of American Game Fowl.

Here is something from the web site that plainly states that The American Game Fowl Society cannot and will not be party to any illegal act.

3) Form and provide continuous support for all members of the American Game Society such as Membership Certificates, Membership lists, American Game Fowl literature and memorabilia, Information on the breed for worldwide acceptance. Information on the breed for new members, Information as to why we are a show holding society and not the target of all the animal rights groups.

Information for the protection of members and protection of the same members by the American Game Fowl Society against malicious discrimination by any organization attempting to infringe on the rights of any of our members involved with showing of American Game Fowl or the transportation of these show fowl to any legal show entity.
This above clause would exclude any other use of American Game Fowl for any Illegal activities. The American Game Fowl Society cannot and will not be party to any illegal act.

ss game farm writes:

the legislators were bought out by the humane societies.. i really dont understand why they dont go after the rapist and killers.. because i really dont think they should worry about the chicken fighters.. they have bigger fish to fry.. and by the way if the law passes who is gonna vote for the legislators that turned on us.. i really dont want to loose my heretage because of some humane society.. please because my whole family has been into chickens and i really dont wanna lose the tradition..

Gerbera writes:

i really dont understand why they dont go after the rapist and killers,

I don't think our government is ignoring other criminals if it seeks to regulate cockfighting. No where in these bills does it say they're going to divert detectives to cockfighting duty.

I don't understand how people who love their animals find themselves on the same side as those who enjoy watching those animals die. Those of you who show your chickens say that the legislation is endangering your practice. This doesn't seem like a logical jump. If it was, you probably see people who raise show dogs defending dog fighters.

Rev. Aldridge writes:

02/28/08 Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N)
02/29/08 Senate: Passed by for the day

ss game farm writes:

gerbera, have you ever owned chickens?

Claire Ward writes:

SB592 was approved by the House Courts of Justice committee this afternoon.

Cross Creek writes:

A. No person shall knowingly do any of the following:
1.Promote, prepare for, engage in, or be employed in, the fighting of dogs animals for amusement, sport or gain;

B. Any person who violates any provision of subsection A in combination with one or more of the following is guilty of a Class 6 felony:
5. When any animal is possessed, owned, trained, transported, or sold with the intent that the animal engage in an exhibition of fighting with another animal; or

I spoke with Ellen Porter, Division of Legislative Services this morning to try getting a better understanding of the verbiage in this said bill. She clarifed alot of things for me, but in the end it really is as broad as it is long. With words such as Prepare for, intent, it really comes down to someone’s opinion of what they think you were doing. And as we all can see many people have different opinions, which holds the possibility of someone making an error in judgment. I even asked about medications as the one part of the bill where substances are mentioned, someone could have an opinion that because you have Vitamins your intent is to fight your fowl. But in return these fowl need vitamins and antibiotics to keep them very healthy. I could understand if the bill said steroids, but if you possess them you are in violation of VA code anyway since they are controlled substances. We both agreed that this bill was pretty much wide open for a reason, to allow people flexibility to enforce the laws if they assume you are preparing or intending to fight these fowl. It all comes down to ones opinion and I feel without having properly trained personnel they cannot make a honest assessment of illegal acts unless they catch someone in the act, or catch them on the road with fowl and weapons in their possession at one time. To me if those were to happen there is no question what is happening, but the bill has circled the wagon so to speak in a way that there are many opportunities to be falsely accused.

Cross Creek writes:

Intent
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Intent in law is the planning and desire to perform an act, to fail to act (i.e. an omission) or to achieve a state of affairs.
In criminal law, for a given actus reus ("guilty act"), the required element to prove intent consists of showing mens rea (mental state, "guilty mind").
The requirements for the proof of intent in tort law are generally simpler than criminal law. Knowledge of the repercussions of the act is often not necessary. It is sometimes only a matter of showing that there was desire to perform an act.

Prepare:

transitive verb1 a: to make ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity b: to put in a proper state of mind 2: to work out the details of : plan in advance 3 a: to put together : COMPOUND b: to put into written form intransitive verb: to get ready
— pre·par·er noun

Cross Creek writes:

So basically with this wording if it is in their judgment that you are planning or attempting to do anything mention in this bill you are guilty without ever physically committing the crime.

To me I just do not see the justification to charge someone without rock solid evidence that you have in fact committed a crime, not that in their opinion you we thinking about it. Sad!!!

Do they realize how many people they could lock up each day in this state for thinking about something.... I think they will be making a big mistake here with this wide-open verbiage.

This bill is too broad and opens the door for anything pretty much to be considered as they have listed just about anything imaginable in this bill.

TJ Nickell writes:

This is crazy, we love our fowl, most love there fowl more than there wives or girlfrinds. I you turn 2 game roosters loose they will fight to there death. So does Tommy Norment want to kill all breads of game fowl. Thats is inhumane, we try to preserve all breads of fowl so future genterations can enjoy them. Also some people isnt lucky enough to have a chane too go to college an earn a degree. That how some famlies put food on the table. I think dog fighting is cruel and 90% of chickenfighters do thinks it inhumane. A dog is mans best friend, Ive owned pitbull and they are not what the media makes them out to be.Aleast we are not like the gov. them want to kill all gamefowl. When peta comes in to you farm they put are chickens into big tanks and gas them. NOW WHO IS THE BAD GUYS???? They kill everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!­!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CCGF writes:

Yep just take a look at the latest cockfighting raid in Canada. Even members of the SPCA where sickened by all the chickens that they killed. The report I read said they killed 1200 roosters and it took twelve hours. The way I understood the report the roosters they killed where not even at a "fighting pit", but on farms. What happend to saving the roosters from the terrible cockfighters. Those chickens would have lived for many years in the hands of their owners, but died in 12 hours at the hands of their rescuers. DON'T MAKE MUCH SENCE TO ME. Guess you have to be a complete animal lover to know when something is better off DEAD ????? I think they are idiots.

Jackie Hutson writes:

Wellllll.....where is the SPCA and HSUS regarding the "pidgeon glue" and the waxwings?!?!?!? The waxwing is a federally protected bird; ie migritory, yet the State of Virginia can kill them without anything being said? No arrests? Oh, excuse me, it was an accident? PUHLEEZE!!! If I was to set a trap to catch a possum or raccoon and caught a Bald Eagle instead, would the State or Feds say "That's OK, it was an accident, we understand, things like this happen"? They had on the news this morning there was a fund raiser to raise money to care for the surviving waxwings. They claim it cost $200 a week. What the heck is wrong with this picture?

CCGF writes:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/02/29/bc-cocknews.html

Here's the link. I hope they are scarred for life, because of what they "had to do" to "save those 1270 roosters" Where was all the chicken santuary people when you need them? We should round up all the poor homeless people living under bridges, etc.... and humanly euthanize them, they shouldn't be made to live in such terrible conditions. The same people that are trying to "save" all the animals drive by these people everyday like they are nothing. The reason the lady in the video is so upset is because she knew what they where doing was wrong. As for the guy showing the implements for fighting, he didn't know what he was talking about either. The hitch he discribed "that stays on the rooster his whole life" is far from the truth. They are rotated daily to prevent injury to the animal, "tie cords" are designed to stretch to help reduce injury to the animal. On most farms roosters are fed atleast 6-8 ounces of quality feed everyday and have access to fresh water 24/7. Although, I currently do not have any game fowl. In the past I have had roosters die from old age (8-9 years old) Probably, a good portion of those 1270 roosters killed in this raid and similar US raids could have lived long healthy lives as well. Way to go SPCA, kill'm all and let god sort'm out. The big man upstairs might remind you of all the dogs, cats, and roosters you "saved" with a "humane death".

SB592, HB656 are as stupid as the people that support them.

Claire Ward writes:

HB656 passed the Senate on a vote of 40-0. Now it goes to the Governor for his signature.

Gerbera writes:

Jackie, instead of ranting, why not educate us about whatever has upset you if it has something to do with this bill.

Also, please share the raccoon trap that could also catch an eagle. This sounds like something that needs to be legislated.

CCGF writes:

Oh well. The HSUS, SPCA, tree hugging,vegetable eating special interest groups have bought themselves another win. Like I have said before, passing of these laws won't stop the real criminals from fighting roosters. It will just be pushed further underground. A lot of good people all over the state lives are based around these animals, whether it be raising, breeding for a hobby, income from sales, and yes, fighting. People from the bigger cities or more populated areas have no understanding of rural life. It won't be long before we will be told what color underwear to wear. This is still the best country in the world to live in, but it is starting to suck more and more everyday.

Rev. Aldridge writes:

03/03/08 Senate: Read third time
03/03/08 Senate: Passed Senate (39-Y 0-N)
03/03/08 Senate: Reconsideration of Senate passage agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N)
03/03/08 Senate: Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Jackie Hutson writes:

Gerbera writes: please share the raccoon trap that could catch an eagle.

What planet are you from? A raccoon trap can catch anything with legs/feet! Just another city slicker is what you appear to be!

Rev. Aldridge writes:

Gerbera writes: please share the raccoon trap that could catch an eagle.

Gerbera, what some of your more sleezy cock fighters do is after some wild animal kills one of their fighting birds it will eat only a portion and return the next night to finish it off. The cockster will set several small jaw traps around the body and cover with leaves. The next morning you will have some animal caught by the foot. Most of the time it is an owl, hawk, possum, rackoon of maybe an eagle, they don't care which. the even sleezer cockster will mount a jaw trap on top of an old telephone pole. When one of those beautiful birds lands on the pole to look over the chicken yard he is caught and shot. Then they climb the pole and reset the trap.Welcome to earth, we just made this a better planet today. The gov's office says he will sign!!

Waldo Jaquith writes:

What planet are you from? A raccoon trap can catch anything with legs/feet!

You two are talking about two entirely different types of raccoon traps.

Just another city slicker is what you appear to be!

This sort of nonsense is why you people got your asses handed to you on this bill. "City slicker"? Have you looked at the makeup of the General Assembly? Urban legislators outnumber rural legislators, which is why the legislature spends so much time talking about stuff that has no bearing on you and me.

Rev. Aldridge writes:

jackie Hutson writes:

Cross Creek - HB656 is still in committee. If SB592 becomes law, they will leave HB656 where it is. SB592 was referred to the House Court of Justice where its fate will be decided tomorrow.
Posted 12 days ago.

chop chop time

Rev. Aldridge writes:

Waldo Jaquith writes:

What planet are you from? A raccoon trap can catch anything with legs/feet!

You two are talking about two entirely different types of raccoon traps.

Waldo, I guess most of the people who like to see animals die a bloody death fighting each other didn't know they sell "have a heart" traps. They work very well for me. The rackoons (old english spelling)and other animals caught can be released down by the the river or deep in the woods. If they work their way back, catch and release again. God bless you all. Say your prayers, kiss your children every night if you have any, and go in peace. This is not the end of the world. I'm happy for me and my animal friends that we won. Rev. Aldridge

CCGF writes:

Rev. Aldridge writes:

Gerbera writes: please share the raccoon trap that could catch an eagle.

Gerbera, what some of your more sleezy cock fighters do is after some wild animal kills one of their fighting birds it will eat only a portion and return the next night to finish it off. The cockster will set several small jaw traps around the body and cover with leaves. The next morning you will have some animal caught by the foot. Most of the time it is an owl, hawk, possum, rackoon of maybe an eagle, they don't care which. the even sleezer cockster will mount a jaw trap on top of an old telephone pole. When one of those beautiful birds lands on the pole to look over the chicken yard he is caught and shot. Then they climb the pole and reset the trap.Welcome to earth, we just made this a better planet today. The gov's office says he will sign!!

Just to educate you some there Rev. We don't use traps anymore, poison is the going thing now, its the gift that keeps on killing them varmits. Just put a little on the bird they killed and WHAM ! Them guess what ? When that critter falls over dead and something takes a bite of him, WHAM! And so on. And about the pole trap you know nothing about - I have never seen anyone climb to the top of a telephone pole to set a trap. Why ? All you need is a 12-14 foot pole little bigger than your arm, screw you 6x6 piece of plywood to the top. Set your trap on top of that and wire it to the pole so the flying varmit cannot escape. Those flying varnits usually will look for the most convenient place to land before going in for the kill and guess what, WHAM! You'll have to keep you a good stick handy to whop that ole varmit across the head because they probably won't be in the best of moods. And as far as the ground critters go I have a pit bull that takes care of those, cats, coons, possums, and thieves don't have a chance. Oh, yea. I'd rather be a "sleezy cockster" as you call us any day rather than be a "sleezy reverand" molesting the little boys during Sunday school. The Earth will be a better place when people like you don't have to hide behind a keyboard to talk your crap.
These laws will only make cockfighting stronger. All they have done is take the ones that respected the sport out of the picture. The ones that have nothing to lose or don't care won't stop.
BTW- Cable snares (if you can still find them) work great. They keep getting tighter & tighter, eliminating the need to catch'm again. Just throw'm over the hill, give their varmit buddies something to eat.

skullhillbob writes:

well i guess peta won when gov kaine signs this bill he will killing more animials then any cockfighter ever had in their life time.watch out hunters & fisherman your next on the list all the feed stores better redo their budget this year i spend average of 200.00 month on feed and supplies thats a lot of money times all the cockfighter in va if i have to get rid of all my chickens the only fair thing is to get rid of all the pit bulls just like a game rooster fighting is in their blood famliy pet or not thanks mr vic

Jackie Hutson writes:

And what would the REV ALDRIDGE do if he caught a skunk in his "have a heart" trap. Release him deep in the woods? Down by the river?

Rev. Aldridge writes:

CCGF In ever said you use the entire 30' pole. I thought most of you would use a saw and ladder. But, you made my point!

I have never seen anyone climb to the top of a telephone pole to set a trap. Why ? All you need is a 12-14 foot pole little bigger than your arm, screw you 6x6 piece of plywood to the top. Set your trap on top of that and wire it to the pole so the flying varmit cannot escape. Those flying varnits usually will look for the most convenient place to land before going in for the kill and guess what, WHAM! You'll have to keep you a good stick handy to whop that ole varmit across the head because they probably won't be in the best of moods.

Tim McCormack writes:

That's pretty disgusting, CCGF. You do no favor to your cause.

Jackie: Skunks calm down pretty quickly (they know they can whoop you). When you catch a skunk in a Hav-a-Heart trap, all you have to do is slowly open the door and back away. They'll give you plenty of warning.

skullhillbob writes:

you reckon peta has got enough money left to buy our roosters i would think not after they bought this vote

Jackie Hutson writes:

Tim - Rev Aldridge is referring to the "have a heart" traps that snares the legs with no teeth. Not a cage. And why would he be trapping animals anyway - IF he has such a heart?

Next time ya'll sit down to a steak, eat it like it is the last one you'll ever eat. Your convicted FELON buddy - J. P. Goodwin's goal is "the abolition of all animal agriculture". Today its saving gamefowl, tomorrow may be cattle.

Claire Ward writes:

My sources tell me that PETA had nothing to do with either SB592 or HB656, so I would imagine that they would have plenty of money to buy roosters, should they care to. Skullhillbob, I suggest that you begin negotiations immediately, so that you can reach a mutually beneficial agreement by June 30, 2008.

Furthermore, the time for sturm und drang about HB656 has passed. The bill has passed both houses by sizeable majorities and the Governor is eager to sign it. It's over. Move on.

I found these discussions to be enlightening, sometimes amusing, often maddening, and illustrative of the changing nature of Virginia. The back-and-forth about the animal cruelty bills provided (at least to me)an opportunity to observe the tension between rural and urban/surburban Virginia on a micro scale. Yes, the increasing dominance of the urban areas (especially Northern Virginia) means that to an certain degree, their values will become dominant as well. So, old ways and mores will be discarded and new ways and mores will be adopted. This is also the nature of democracy-the will of the majority prevails. And, judging from the votes in the House and the Senate, the majority of Virginians think that chicken fighting is a bad thing.

I hope that all of the angry chicken people find it in their hearts to keep their chickens alive. As for me, I will continue to explore ways to build and maintain a vibrant urban chicken culture.

Jackie Hutson writes:

Claire - HSUS was behind both bills. Why not, with over $100 million in assets - yet they do not run OR manage ONE (1) animal shelter. HSUS (with convicted FELON J. P. Goodwin) has McDonnell in their pocket. They had five (5) lobbyists, the VGBA had one (1). Go to their website - cattle are next. I hope you don't like beef. As far as keeping the chickens alive, gamefowl make EXCELLENT Brunswick stew.

Claire Ward writes:

PETA and HSUS are separate entities. I was referring to PETA. I've known for quite some time that HSUS was involved in both bills, but I appreciate your effort to educate me. Thank you.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Your convicted FELON buddy - J. P. Goodwin's goal is "the abolition of all animal agriculture". [...] Go to their website - cattle are next. I hope you don't like beef.

I have no idea who J.P. Goodwin is. But that's neither here nor there. Given your comment, Jackie, I suppose that means you'll be taking me up on my wager? It's an easy $1,000 if you have the courage of your convictions.

You do believe what you're saying, don't you?

Jackie Hutson writes:

Waldo - J. P. Goodwin is a D. C. Based Conflict Industrialist and was an activist for the ALF (Animal Liberation Front), CAFT (Coalition to Abolish Fur Trade) and HSUS (Humane Society of the United States). In the early 1990's, he liked to recruit teenagers to help with his dirty deeds of releasing minks and burning mink farms. He was caught with bomb making materials in the middle of the night in January 2001 behind the Capitola (California) City Hall. Read Cross Creeks posts of a month ago where he is linked to McDonnell.

Taken from Careers in the Conflict Industry - FCUSA Executive Director Teresa Platt - 08/12/01
"In May 1997, ALF attacked a mink farm in Mt. Angel, Oregon, releasing and abandoning 10,000 farm-raised animals. Over 4,000, primarily kits not yet weaned from their mothers, died miserable deaths in the days following the attack, while the survivors were severely stressed by the experience. But Goodwin was unmoved by the carnage, and callously demanded body counts. "They claim thousands of minks have died," he said. "Let’s see thousands of bodies." The farming family, police, reporters and insurance adjusters dutifully counted the bodies while Goodwin gave interviews and furthered his career."

As far as your wager, are you trying to set ME up or YOURSELF up to be guilty of violating section 18.2-328 of the Code of Virginia "The operator of an illegal gambling enterprise, ACTIVITY, or operation shall be guilty of a class 6 felony". Heck, you might end up bunking with some cockfighters.

Rev. Aldridge writes:

Jackie Hutson writes:

Tim - Rev Aldridge is referring to the "have a heart" traps that snares the legs with no teeth. Not a cage. And why would he be trapping animals anyway - IF he has such a heart?

Tim a have a heart trap is a cage with a door at each end. The animal enters, springs the door and is safe and unhurt. I feed an out door cat on my back deck. left over cat food will some times bring a rackoon or an opossum or skunk. If they show up once or twice my children and I will amuse ourselves by watching them through the glass door. If they decide to make my house their home, I will move them a little farther down the road. legs entact.

Gerbera writes:

The comment about legislating a raccoon trap was a joke. I know the kind of trap that was mentioned, but the rant was so bizarre (pigeon glue and waxwings!?!) that I could help poking fun.

How funny that once again, a pro-cockfighter assumes that anyone in favor of this bill is part of PETA or HSUS. If PETA's or HSUS's people were here, they'd be commenting as frequently and with as much text as the cockfighters. I think it's safe to say that most of us are just opinionated citizens who are interested in our state government.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

As far as your wager, are you trying to set ME up or YOURSELF up to be guilty of violating section 18.2-328 of the Code of Virginia "The operator of an illegal gambling enterprise, ACTIVITY, or operation shall be guilty of a class 6 felony"

If neither party making the wager can gain materially (that is, the money goes to charity) then it's not gambling and thus perfectly legal.

So you'll take the bet? It's easy money. Right?

Jackie Hutson writes:

Gerbera -

Taken from the Richmond Times Dispatch - 02/22/08 "Thirty-two cedar waxwings that survived an encounter with a sticky pigeon repellent are eating and improving, their caretaker says. "It's still a long process, but I'm happy with the progress," said Amber Kimmich, a wildlife rehabilitator in Powhatan County. Two of the waxwings died at Capitol Square, and a state biologist took 53 to Kimmich. They also wash the birds periodically with a mild dish detergent to get rid of the oil. Cedar waxwings are protected by law, but state game officials said the pigeon repellent was used properly and no crime was committed."

Taken from the Richmond Times Dispatch 02/23/08 "More birds died than first said
An estimated 32 birds died at the General Assembly Building, state officials said yesterday. Previously, officials had said just two of the birds, called cedar waxwings, died at the scene. She and other volunteers have been washing and feeding the birds. Ed Clark, president of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, an animal hospital in Waynesboro, said the birds were getting good care. "The fact is, it is very stressful for animals that get this stuff on them." To complicate things further, state officials said, 18 more cedar waxwings died Thursday and yesterday from collisions with General Assembly Building windows. Cedar waxwings are moving through the region on their northward migration."

Yeah Gerbera REAL bizarre! Repellent was used properly so no crime was committed. Coon trap was used properly so no crime was committed. RIGHT? I spoke with the Wildlife Center of Virginia, the State gave them a whopping $200 to care for the federally protected birds. What's the difference between a waxwing and a gamefowl?

Jackie Hutson writes:

Waldo - That is YOUR interpretation of the law. I don't read it that way. What you people don't get is exactly that! HB656 contains the following: "and the possession of any materials intended to enhance the ability of animals to fight". So if I have gamefowl on my property, which I want to show at the State fair, the gestapo can come on my property, search and find vitamins and say that the vitamins are intended to enhance the ability of the gamefowl to fight. DO YOU GET IT?

Claire Ward writes:

There's Gestapo in SW Virginia?????

Waldo Jaquith writes:

What you people don't get is exactly that! HB656 contains the following: "and the possession of any materials intended to enhance the ability of animals to fight". So if I have gamefowl on my property, which I want to show at the State fair, the gestapo can come on my property, search and find vitamins and say that the vitamins are intended to enhance the ability of the gamefowl to fight. DO YOU GET IT?

To quote one Jackie Hutson: "That is YOUR interpretation of the law. I don't read it that way."

Wait...we are just taking turns saying totally ludicrous things, right?

Tim McCormack writes:

@Rev. Aldridge: Yeah, I'm familiar with Hav-a-Heart traps. As far as I know, they all work on the basis of a foot-pedal attached to a spring-loaded door. I was trying to explain to another commenter that yes, skunks can safely be released from humane traps. :-)

There's no reason to use kill-traps when humane traps are available.

Gerbera writes:

Is there a cedar waxwing fighting ring afoot? I'm still not clear about the connection between waxwings and cockfighting.

Stick a fork in this one. It's as good as done.

yellowjacket writes:

I believe it was decided before this session began by our Attorney General that this bill would be passed into law regardless of public response. Our state AG teamed with out-of-state animal rights thugs and even made that fact known to the public. Inside word is HB656 was doomed in the AG sub committee, however, that same committee was basically instructed to pass the bill and do it without amendments. Again, no regard for public input. As a result, we have felony legislation passed against cockfighting, a sport that has been practiced in this state for hundreds of years and by most part, kept out of the public eye. Who has it ever hurt? It may be a sport of harshness to the timid, but to the participant, it's competition, it's a lifestyle you obviously do not understand. I have talked to many opponents of cockfighting and have yet to personally meet one person agreeing with the need for a felony penalty. The AG knew a straight felony law against cockfighting would not pass, so a couple of his puppets disguised the cockfighing language in the so called animal fighting bill to gain public support. Basically, cockfighting was lost to dogfighting sentiment. Those of you who feel cockfighting should be illegal, that is your right, but is it really a felony offense? Lets see, what are some examples of a felony? Some forms of breaking and entering, assault with a deadly weapon, rape, murder, robbery etc.. Of course, many of these crimes are under different felony classifications (6 thru 1), but a felony is a felony on your record. Cockfighting will carry a stronger penalty than domestic abuse, child molestation, stalking, DUI and many forms of violence against innocent human beings. The felony push came from an out-of-state animal rights group, the Humane Society of the United States and those individuals falling for their rhetorical propaganda, (I feel confident in saying there may be a political contribution in there somewhere). The HSUS pride themselves on getting felony legislation passed in matters dealing with animals(it's something new to brag about in the media, which generate donations). I am not asking anyone to accept me or my love of cockfighting, but, I served in the U.S. Army and did so with the attitude of protecting freedom. What I did ask and was denied for political reasons, is for the State to accept my rights under the old Virginia law to fight cocks and do so without the crime that the HSUS generalizes and associated with all cockfighting. If drugs are a problem, then develop more effective legislation on drugs, if gambling is a problem, then the same with gambling. You can go into just about any work place during the month of December and buy into a Superbowl gambling pool worth thousands of dollars, no one has a problem with that. If you do not agree with cockfighting, then do not attend or be involved. What deficiency in someones life would cause them to show up in the middle of no-where, on private property looking to charge me for fighting two roosters in an attempt to work their arrogance against me and force their lifestyle on me? I grew up cockfighting and am educated with a successful career. I have never seen the inside of a jail or charged with a crime. However, one of the Humane Society speakers that promoted this bill before our legislators is a former underground animal rights extremist with a criminal past. NOTE: No law should ever be created against a public to appease a tax exempt special interest group such as the Humane Society.

I will close with a small portion of our Commonwealth's constitution. I do not see any mention of special interest.

Section 2.

That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

Jackie Hutson writes:

Gerbera - The HSUS wants to save the gamefowl from each other and turn their head when the STATE KILLS FEDERALLY PROTECTED BIRDS!

I will leave this site with the wise word of Noel:

F I I I I I I I I I I G H T!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gerbera writes:

Again, no regard for public input.

That's a huge assumption and it shows a bit of ignorance to think that the only people contacting their reps about these bills are the cockfighters. Wake up! Some of you find nothing wrong with these fights because they've been normalized - they're around you. Many people think this practice is ridiculous. Get outside your bubble and you might realize this.

yellowjacket writes:

Ignorance? How appropriate (being sarcastic here) for the ignorant to label someone ignorant with a statement of ignorance. You need to be more on the inside of our legislative process. Read where I stated that HB656 was on the chopping block in the AG sub committee. This was due to unpopularity and this bill being an overkill.. How did it become unpopular? Many call ins... So, no assumptions here, just observations. I am well aware of people being pro and con with this issue and I sure both sides where well represented, especially since large, out-of-state special interest groups headed up an effort of bogus call ins from non residents using a method called "phone banks".. Normalized? cockfighting is normalized because its been practiced in some families for several generations and would not be so popular across the country if there was not a positive elements to the sport. But, we also have other normalized situations such as state controlled gambling and abortion (killing of a human fetus) that are legal.. Gambling was one of the biggest vices used against cockfighting. Okay, if that be the case, then make stronger gambling laws. They also used the term corruption against us and took one out of thousands cockfighting events in this country and used it as if it where an everyday occurrence in this sport. Cockfighting surely is not for all, but fight is something these birds will do until the end without provocation from man. Laws such as this are "feel good laws" to appease rich, special interest groups and gain their support. I do not feel you can justify some forms of hunting if you cannot accept cockfighting. However, hunting has several major positive factors, with one being MONEY! It's a multi billion dollar industry. Money gives our government justification to moralize, legalize and protect it within our constitution.. I am an avid hunter and in no way would work against it, but I am also a life long cocker and should have the right to fight my roosters same as stick a deer in the ribs with a razor or turn a dog on a coon...

Jackie, you are correct, the FIGHT has just began. Most public issues die-off once the legislation becomes law, but this sitution will be a thorn in the side of our state from now on.

CCGF writes:

What do all the anti-cockfighting people think about the nations most popular "bloodsport" - The UFC ? And whats the difference in two human beings pounding each other until they are bloody and sometimes unconscious.
UFC seems to be bigger than boxing ever was ? You don't hear much about boxing anymore. I guess Americans would rather see fighters not only punch, but be able to knee or kick each other to the head and body as well. Reckon there are any illegal gambling going on around these events ? I lost $40. on UFC 81, but broke even on UFC 82.
Can't wait for the next "human cockfight" UFC 83, April 15th. I sure hope the HSUS, PETS, SPCA folks don't start caring about humans anytime soon.

Cross Creek writes:

CCGF writes: I sure hope the HSUS, PETS, SPCA folks don't start caring about humans anytime soon.

No dangers in that.

HSUS, and other Animal Rights groups may have bought and won the battle, but trust me when I tell you this, they have not bought or won the war yet. If it were not for their money they could not win

Cross Creek writes:

One thing most of you fail to recognize is that three words exists Culture, Stereotyping and Prejudice. Just because we own chickens or cockfight you want to stereotype us as criminals in many forms and fashions. Cockfighting has been a culture for many Americans for hundreds of years and in return has become a way of life for them. Animal Rights groups continually stereotype cockers as bad people, criminals of such. But in return it is just a Prejudice act by them, as cockers are never trying to change their way of life, I know personally I do not care what ones beliefs are as long as they do not try to force their views and ways of life on me. But in the end, we as cockers and game fowl owners have been discriminated against due to our cultural backgrounds. Discriminated against by our state government whom let special interests groups destroy a culture that has been known to Virginia for hundreds of years. But people fail to realize we deal with Cultural Diversity in the work place every day and have to find ways to understand and respect person’s cultural beliefs. This is pushed in most training of Management, but yet some of you continue to accept the Discrimination that has went on in our General Assembly this session. We have been discriminated against based on our Cultural Beliefs and way of life.

Culture- A set of customs, beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.

Like I said this is not the end, so keep feeling your dominant urban areas will set the tone for rural areas in Virginia. Obviously you just pointed out a flaw in our Legislative process that makes it impossible to be fair to all parts and people of the state of Virginia. God Bless each and every one of you.

Gerbera writes:

Just because we own chickens or cockfight you want to stereotype us as criminals in many forms and fashions.

You must not have noticed that I separated the people who love their chickens from the people who fight their chickens...mostly because I can't imagine wanting to watch a creature you love put a fight.

As for UFC, there's a pretty big difference between two humans willingly going into a ring and two humans pitting two animals against each other. I personally think both are pathetic.

abortion (killing of a human fetus)

Thank goodness that was defined.

Once again, unrelated issues are brought into this discussion. Is it so hard to believe that people simply object to cockfighting for what it is? Sure, the other stuff come into the discussion, but gambling isn't the main reason people against cockfighting take issue with it. I think most people simply find the pitting of animals objectionable.

Claire Ward writes:

The imposition of the will of the majority is one of the foundations of democracy. If you don't like it, you may want to consider relocation to the Dominican Republic, Cuba or some other locale where cockfighting is legal.

Jackie Hutson writes:

No Rev. Aldridge - its not chop chop time. It will be time to release the gamefowl in the city of Richmond so the SPCA and HSUS can "SAVE" them!

yellowjacket writes:

This bill did not pass based on democracy or popularity. Public polls showed these bills should be rejected by an 80% margin. Our state AG decided this bill was going to pass regardless of public opinion. He was bent of gaining the support of the Humane Society of the U.S. If you do not like cockfighting and think it should be taken away by stipping someones freedom to do so, then move to one of the many communist countries, you should fit right in... Beside, our legislators had to hide the cockfighting language in a dogfighting/animal fighting bill to get enough support for it to pass. Straight up cockfighting bills have failed in the past..

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Public polls showed these bills should be rejected by an 80% margin.

Really? Can you point us to just one such survey conducted by an survey organization?

I kid, I kid...of course you can't, because no such poll results exist.

CCGF writes:

Quite a few "no" votes as far as this site's pole goes. I'm sure that could quite possibly be compared to the general consensus across the state. If our legislators and our fine governor can make laws which hold stiffer penalties for animal crimes than they do for human crimes and can live with that than so be it. Your vote and your opinions mean nothing to them, unless you have the $$$ to buy them off. Wonder how they'd feel if a scumbag walked up and assaulted his wife or one of his kids on the street? The same guy that made the assault on his family member and a chicken fighter are being prosecuted on the same day - the assailent gets a class 1 misdeamenor and the chicken fighter gets a class 6 felony. Don't seem right to me.

Rev. Aldridge writes:

03/05/08 House: Signed by Speaker
03/06/08 Senate: Signed by President
03/11/08 Governor: Approved by Governor-Chapter 543 (effective 7/1/08)

sad,sad day writes:

to any one whom eats meat,or fish,ask ourselfs whom murdered this meal which we are about to eat.whom has done the most wrong the murder or the consumer?i guess all speices of animals are included rats,mice,etc.I guess now we have created all virginians to be vegetarians.I hope we all think of this when we get ready to eat if you eat meat,or fish,someone murdered this so i can eat it.the bible says ye without sin cast the first stone.i myself will not be casting no stones,will you?we as virgians keep creating laws on ourselfs,seems to me as if we are our on worst enemys,our fore fathers and a lot of us now have spilled blood for our freedom.Why cant we vote on these proposed laws when passed by virginias judicial system,legislatures,senators,so all virginians will be heard?I belive the land of the free aint so free no more especially when we are less concerned with human lives.Why cant we concern ourselfs with importan issues such as americans dieing in foreign countrys,homeless people,elderly people,prescription drug costs,etc?It seems as if we as a whole have lost focus on greater issues.What happen?

Jim Repass writes:

Killing for food is natural, Killing for sport is psychotic.

Henny Penny writes:

I, for one, am estatic that my rooster relatives will no longer be used for blood sport! Cluck, cluck!

CCGF writes:

Like our local and state law enforcement doesn't have enough to do. They can now ride around the rural communities of Virginia looking for roosters in peoples yards. Now, are those roosters used for fighting or as just being raised for a hobby. Who determines this ?
What will be the definition of "enhancement drugs" under the new law ? Most of the drugs used to keep chickens healthy can be considered to be "enhancement drugs" as well. Who will make that determination ? How much will the innocent people have to spend to defend themselves.
As far as "fighting implements" go. Game roosters will fight to the death with the implements God gave them. So, if you saw their natural spurs off your being cruel to the lil critter. If you leave the natural spurs on them you might be found guilty of possessing "fighting implements" This law is way to broad and will open up a lot of grey areas for wrong people to be charged and maybe for the guilty to escape.
What's this country coming to ?

sad,sad day writes:

ok virginians,lets all get us a big bowl full grass with a few wild onions for flavor and ENJOY.Killing a animal for meat or sport is Murder.I guess no more blood sport lets see this just about covers all sports except maybe quilting,or maybe bingo.YEAH!

yellowjacket writes:

Waldo, I know you basically like to keep things stirred up and I know of no other purpose you have in life, but there have been several polls conducted by papers and discussion boards such as this board. Look above at the response to the poll on this very site. I guess these polls do not count since they are not in favor of animal rights. And besides, its been revealed on more than one occasion that past polls conducted by so called survey organizations usually end up in favor of those paying for the survey to be completed. Its called targeting. You know, if the survey people are working for the ARA, they call people in heavily populated areas such as a city to get their opinion. We both know people in urban and city areas know very little about rural pastimes such as cockfighting. If you are thinking that cockers distorted the actual numbers on the poll above, the ARA have the same freedom with a computer as anyone else plus hired hackers to help... So Waldo, I kid you not... One last note, I have feedback from several legislators, with more coming in, that claimed strong public support for this bill to be amended and have the cockfighting penalty language reduced or stricken. However, inside word is (I have the emails from those involved) that the agriculture sub committee where this bill was to face its toughest hurdle was instructed to pass this bill with no major amendments. So, basically, public opinion did not matter since the state AG and governor where already employed by the Humane Society... Laws should be derived from public demand, not special interest money representing the minority.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

there have been several polls conducted by papers and discussion boards such as this board.

A website poll is not a "survey conducted by an survey organization," as I specifically requested. It is utterly invalid. As the help text for the polls right here on Richmond Sunlight says:

It’s in no way scientifically accurate, and measures nothing more than the whims of the people who bothered to click a little button

If there have been "several polls conducted by papers," then you can presumably point me to one?

I tell you what, I'll offer another bet. If anybody can show me a single poll run by a survey firm (not a web-based poll, but an actual survey firm -- Survey USA, Gallup, Zogby, Mason-Dixon, etc.) showing that a majority of Virginians think cockfighting should be legal, I'll give $100 to the charity of your choice. That's it. If I'm right, you owe nothing. Not a penny.

$100! Easy money, right? So who's up for it?

Of course, I could make it a million dollars and it wouldn't matter. Y'all are just telling stories. No such poll exists, because nobody has the slightest interest in letting people fight a bunch of chickens.

yellowjacket writes:

I do not recall anyone stating that a survey firm has conducted a poll to begin with, and, as usual, when the web based polls like the one above do not go your way, you elude to something else, such as an official poll by a survey firm. I also stated that the people I have spoke with (some pro and some con) did not feel cockfighting should be a felony. Many of the legislators I have communicated with stated that in addition to the constituent feedback being even or against the bill, cockfighting should not be a felony. Many of the people that feel cockfighting is wrong did not feel it should be classified as a felony offense. Your last sentence stated that "nobody has an interest in letting people fight a bunch of chickens". You used the word 'nobody" and now I will place a bet that you are wrong. There are many non cockfighting people with an interest in this matter, "nobody" is an absolute term, so again, you are wrong. Besides, you or no-one else will ever "let" or forbid me from fighting a rooster. If the Commonwealth decides to outlaw rooster fighting, I can live with that, thats our system, but my argument is this, the commonwealth did not make the decision to outlaw cockfighting, the legislators did and since it was not due to public demand, its not the Commonwealth.. The language on cockfighting was deguised in the animal fighting bill that mostly covered dogfighting. Throw in the Vick case for fire and a few words to cover cockfighting and there you have it, a pefect bill for animal rights thugs to get there way and rid me of a freedom. We all know that the Humane Society of the United States pushed for felony legislation against cockfighting and assisted with the overall language in this bill. This group should have been told to shut up and stay in Washington, this is a state legislative matter and the people of Virginia will make the decision... If you could subtract the HSUS from the factor, I do not feel cockfighting would soon be illegal...

Waldo Jaquith writes:

This disclaimer about polls has been on Richmond Sunlight since day 1:

It's in no way scientifically accurate, and measures nothing more than the whims of the people who bothered to click a little button

That's as true on this poll as it is for every single bill on the entire site. Your suggestion that the case might be otherwise is just goofy.

do not recall anyone stating that a survey firm has conducted a poll to begin with

I do recall just such a statement -- by you. You wrote:

there have been several polls conducted by papers

Newspapers who conduct polls use polling firms. Inherently.

I'm calling your bluff: where are these "several polls conducted by papers" that demonstrate that a majority of Virginians oppose this law?

yellowjacket writes:

Waldo, each poll I have voted on has been conducted by an online news agency or an online paper. Was it official or conducted by an outside source as you keep suggesting? I have no idea. I can only tell you I have voted on at least a half dozen or more over the last two years (since cockfighting became a real legislative issue in VA). Did I save the IP addresses, of course not, do you? I rest assured others can testify of several polls they have voted on as well. Some we lost by a narrow margin and others we won and few we won large. If you expect me to break all this down and counter my own statement or boost the animal rights issue, than you are less intelligent than many of us already give you credit for. Lets see if we can find a poll where there are as many people from rural areas voting as from the cities or better yet, find a poll where rural populations where polled. I feelyou will discover a vast difference in results. I would like to see each county dicide for itself if their residents want legal cockfighting? Why should Roanoke, Richmond and Alexandria decide for the rest of the state what is acceptable. A similar situation happened in OK a few years ago. The majority of counties voted in favor of legalized cockfighting, but Tulsa and Oklahoma City (as examples with their large populations) tilted the overall state vote. Those cities in OK basically decided what the rural residents of the state would have to accept... Would you go to the city and poll the residents on certain farming practices????? I hope not.

Thanks Waldo for your input, but in closing, I feel like this, I have never tried to force my opinion or way of life on anyone. I also feel that to fight two roosters should be my business and my right as it has been since VA became a state. If you can justify hunting with a bow, fishing with a hook, killing a chicken with a hatchet or letting a coon and dog fight till death, I should have the right to fight two roosters. Remember, dead is dead. The chicken you eat lived six weeks in a 2X2 cage, standing in his own feces with artifical lights over his head 16 hours per day. The chickens I fight grow up on free range, living natural in the woods for six months before being penned in a 6X6X6 on natural earth and will be three years old before being fought. But I keep forgetting, hunting, fishing, commercial poultry all have money behind them so, its justifiable.....