Oklahoma Governor Wants to Legalize Cockfighting


How can any U.S. Governor think the brutally violent and categorically barbaric activity of cockfighting is acceptable? Cockfighting is a felony not only due to extreme animal cruelty but also because the event is so cruel that experts consider it is concerning for children to witness desensitizing them to violence.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt says he’s determined to bring cockfighting back to his state, Gov. Stitt stated cockfighting is a main driver for the state’s economy, despite being made illegal in 2002. “We need to protect the nearly 5,000 game fowl farmers across Oklahoma and lift up our rural and municipal economies. I can’t wait to see what we accomplished together in the next legislative session,” Stitt said.

To be clear, cockfighting birds are taught to fight and often are force fed steroids to support their hard-wired proclivity to battle other roosters in their territory. Knives are attached to the birds so they literally can tear apart an opponent. These bloody fights are most often to the death, not batter the battling birds are bloodied and tortured.

Aside from the cruelty of the event itself, cockfighting is nearly always associated with gambling, illegal drug dealing, gang activity and illegal gun use, not to mention helping to spread bird flu.(which actually could shut down the state’s poultry farmers or spread beyond Oklahoma).

How can anyone with support such events, much less an elected U.S. Governor? It’s difficult to comprehend or even believe – yet here is Gov. Stitt in his own words calmly but clearly supporting  the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission.

Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating said, “It is an embarrassment to me that any elected official seeks to turn back the clock on this morally settled issue. Talk of decriminalizing cockfighting is toxic to the idea of economic development and forward progress for our great state,”

Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action accused the state’s sheriffs of largely turning a blind eye to reports of players in the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission continuing the sport, which is supposed to be a felony.

“Gov. Stitt’s barely concealed embrace of cockfighting is both jarring and unique in American politics,” Pacelle said. “No other governor in any state during my 30 years of working on this issue has ever signaled support for staged animal fighting. Any politician supporting it embraces animal cruelty and lawlessness.”