Supporters of House Bill 215, which is awaiting a House floor vote, include the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Poultry Association, Humane Society of the United States, Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Veterinarian Association and more. The bill would prohibit people from being employed at a cockfighting event, betting on results, paying admission, bringing a minor to the event, or possessing or using devices or substances intended to enhance the bird’s fighting ability.
Legislation calling for stiffer penalties has been introduced at least four times but the bills have stalled, Roscoe said. “Do we really need to keep having cockfighting raids to see that this bill is necessary?”
Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association, issued a statement this week that said in part: “Ohio needs a penalty for cockfighting that keeps the criminals and their birds out of our state. Legislation that would effectively address this problem has been proposed in several legislative sessions, and yet our state’s leaders have been unable to pass this important measure. Ohio’s legislators should be swift and forthright in taking the necessary steps to bring Ohio in-line with other states.”