Cockfighting illegal inside city limits of Tulsa

Tuesday, July 2nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Cockfighting is allowed in Oklahoma, but in Tulsa it's a different story. As some folks found out this past weekend.

News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Tulsa Police say rooster on the left is the winner from a weekend cockfight at a Tulsa nightclub. They say he was bloody and scratched when they found him, a veterinarian says he's doing just fine now.

Officers say the loser didn't fare so well, he was found dead, tossed into a trash bin at the club. Police were originally called to the club on a complaint of underage drinking, but found evidence of rooster fights. Tulsa Police Sgt Wayne Allen, "Inside, we found a pen with wood chips, blood and chicken feathers everywhere."

Even though cockfighting is legal in Oklahoma, it's not legal inside the Tulsa city limits and the gambling that often goes along with the fights is illegal altogether.

Officers gave the woman acting as bartender tickets for serving liquor and food without a license, animal cruelty, disposing of a dead animal improperly, running coin operated pool tables without a permit and health code violations, including blocking the fire exit door. "If the city proves she knew and assisted in the rooster fight, she may very well do jail time.”

People against cockfighting collected thousands of signatures on a petition last year, asking for a statewide vote on cockfighting. People who support it, argued in court, not enough signatures were valid. Oklahoma's supreme court said they were valid and now, the matter will go to voters statewide.

In the meantime, this rooster will get a reprieve from having to defend his title as champ. Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana are the only states where cockfighting is still legal. The rooster confiscated over the weekend will be held for evidence, and then put up for adoption.

Several people have already volunteered to take it in.