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Cockfighting ban not being enforced in some Oklahoma counties

Cockfighting is going on in several Oklahoma Counties, even though voters passed a statewide ban against it last November.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson asked the State Supreme Court to decide the matter but some state legislators think they have the answer. News on Six Anchor Tami Marler explains.

Inez Applegate was a big help to her brother after he built the Kellyville Game Club back in 1963.

Inez Applegate: "I stood that gate 14 years, right there at that gate - never saw a fight. Standing that gate so long I knew everybody that came in."

Applegate says her brother M.C. Hopper wanted a nice, warm place where breeders could bring their game birds.

Inez Applegate: "He built the pit because the fellas were fighting in old pump houses, no modern facilities, in brush arbors, what have you. And he wanted someplace that the fellas could bring their families."

That was back before voters in 20 of Oklahoma's 77 counties passed a statewide ban, which made it a felony to do what an estimated 50-thousand rural Oklahomans have been doing for decades.

Forty years after it was built the Kellyville Game Club in Creek County joins nineteen other counties to fight the ban.

"Fighting chickens is still legal here at the Kellyville Game Club, where they still bring in hundreds of spectators every weekend. And people who live around here say if you take that away, you're taking away much more than cockfighting."

Tommy Lucas says he goes just about every weekend to chicken fights along with spectators from other towns and states.

Tommy Lucas : "People come here from out of state - all over – everywhere. They've got to eat while they're here, or whatever. The chicken fighters know one another and have grown up together. They look out for one another. If chicken fighting is against the law, then I won't be doing it. But there are other places, you know, where you could fight and such. You're not going to control the whole world. There are people from other countries that come here to fight. It's not just here in Oklahoma. It comes from everywhere. There are still bulldog fights that go on, and a lot of other things that are illegal. I'm sure there are things that they do that I don't agree with. I'm not in their backyard telling them what to do."

Sheriff Toliver told the News On Six that he will not enforce the ban until they hear otherwise from the State.
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