Cockfighting bill heads to Jindal

Legislation to close loopholes in Louisiana’s ban on cockfighting and put the law in line with other state laws that prohibit dogfighting received final legislative passage Tuesday with a 34-4 vote of the Senate.

The legislation now heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Senate Bill 523 by state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, broadens the definition of “chicken” in the current law to include roosters, game fowl and other birds.

Julia Breaux, Louisiana state director for The The Humane Society of the United States, said in a prepared statement: “Louisiana may have been the last state to ban cockfighting, but if Gov. Jindal signs this bill, we will have one of the best animal fighting laws in the region. This state will never again be a refuge for those who engage in these cruel spectacles where roosters are forced to fight to the death.”

SB523 tightens the definition of what constitutes a fighting bird, outlaws the possession of cockfighting paraphernalia and increases penalties so that cockfighters will face meaningful penalties when they are caught.

It criminalizes the possession, manufacturing, buying and selling of spurs, gaffs and knives if there is evidence the paraphernalia is being used to fight chickens.