Reducing penalties for cockfighting

Tuesday, May 20th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- A bill calling for a statewide vote on reducing penalties for cockfighting has run into a snag in the Oklahoma Senate.

The vote was 23-to-19 in favor of the measure, but it takes 25 votes to pass a bill in the 48-member Senate.

The measure would have dropped first-offense cockfighting penalties from a felony punishable by a prison term to a misdemeanor punishable by a jail term of up to a year and a fine of up to 2-thousand dollars.

Under the current cockfighting law, those involved in cockfighting activities can be sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 25-thousand dollars.

Senator Frank Shurden of Henryetta kept the bill alive with a motion that will allow another vote on the proposal.

Shurden says most Oklahomans believe the penalties in the cockfighting ban approved by voters last year are too severe.