Published on February 4th, 2014 | by Daniel Perlman0
Cockfighting in California
Cockfighting is the world’s oldest spectator sport
Said to be the world’s oldest spectator sport, cockfighting is a blood sport in which male roosters (cocks or gamecocks), are specifically bred for fighting. Trained to injure or kill their opponents, cocks often are fitted with razor sharp metal devices called “gaffs” that allow them to inflict mortal injury on their adversaries. The “cockfight” itself is an event in which two roosters are placed into a ring and fight one another to the death, while spectators watch and place wagers on the outcome. The primary purpose of cockfighting is for gambling and entertainment.
In California Cockfighting is a “wobbler”
Cockfighting is illegal in California as well as every other state in the U.S. It is a felony in 39 states. In California, cockfighting is a “wobbler”, and can be a felony or a misdemeanor based on circumstances. It is also a federal crime. California has recently passed SB1145, which amends existing cockfighting laws and significantly increases the penalties for engaging in, sponsoring, and selling equipment for or watching cockfighting.
In July of 2012, Governor Brown signed into law SB1145 which doubles the maximum fine for cockfighting, to $10,000, and raises the fines for initiating other forms of animal fighting or attending such events.
The bill also doubles maximum fines for people convicted of causing bears and bulls to fight with other animals or with humans. The same measure raises maximum fines for spectators at the fights from $1,000 to $5,000. Sen. Bill Emmerson, who introduced the bill, primarily wanted to end cockfighting, but bears and bulls are in the same section of existing law.
“Cockfighting is a cruel and inhumane sport that is a growing concern in the inland Southern California region and throughout our state,” said Emmerson. “Clearly, our penalties and fines are not stiff enough to prevent this brutal sport from taking place.”
Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman