Cockfighting bill not high on list for Kentucky lawmakers - News, Weather & Sports

Cockfighting bill not high on list for Kentucky lawmakers

Rep. Joni Jenkins Rep. Joni Jenkins
Rep. Greg Stumbo Rep. Greg Stumbo
David Hall David Hall

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) – One day after disturbing video from an undercover investigation on cockfighting in Kentucky by the Humane Society of the United States, there was even more controversy. One lawmaker wants to make it a more serious crime, but is it a priority in Frankfort?

The undercover video from the Humane Society of the United States that shows children at cockfights playing with injured birds, roosters with knives attached their legs fighting to the death and two uniformed officers standing around. Since its release, Jefferson County Representative Joni Jenkins that would make cockfighting a felony has been getting a bit more attention.

"This is a very, very busy session," said Jenkins (D-Shively). "I don't think cockfighting is in the top 10 of most people's priorities."

"I have a billion two in deficit," said Rep. Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg), the Kentucky House Speaker, when asked for his thoughts. "I'm not worried about that bill right now. Excuse me. I don't have any other thoughts on it."

Jenkins said that a lot of things were one a tradition in the United States are now illegal.

"I think violence is violence," said Jenkins. "It is a very violent sport and along with that sport comes many, many illegal activities. I think we would be wrong as a legislature to condone that type of behavior."

Across the river in Indiana, legislators have joined 38 other states in making cockfighting a felony.

"Indiana it's a felony for persons attending and being involved in a cock fight so we're very proud of that," said David Hall, director of the FloyD County, IN Animal Shelter. "And it takes Indiana out of the corridor of states that can be involved in this type of operation."

Jenkins told us she has been talking with the chairman of the Judiciary Committee about possibly making changes that would clarify any ambigous language in the law that suggests cockfighting wouldn't be a crime. It would simply clarify it as a misdemeanor, not make it a felony.

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