The Humane Society of the United States is calling on House Speaker Greg Stumbo to strengthen the state’s cockfighting laws. The request from Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle comes after a cockfighting ring was recently busted in McDowell, Kentucky. Three of Stumbo's distant relatives are accused of running the operation. John Goodwin is the director of animal-cruelty policy at the Humane Society.
“Kentucky has one of the weakest cockfighting laws in the nation. The USDA’s affidavit said that is why people were coming from so many other states to the cockfights,” said Goodwin. “This is a lose-lose for animals and Kentucky’s communities, because this law is so weak it’s attracting this criminal element to Kentucky. They need to make it a felony, turn off the magnet and keep these criminals and animal abusers away from Kentucky.”
Kentucky is one of only nine states where cockfighting isn't a felony offense. It carries a misdemeanor charge in Kentucky, even though attending a fight is now a federal felony.