The Oklahoma Senate recently voted to place a referendum on the November ballot to legalize cockfighting and related activities. The bill, S.B. 835, which passed by a vote of 25-22, now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. In 2002, Oklahoma voters made their state the 48th to prohibit cockfighting in a lopsided vote. Senator Frank Shurden introduced S.B. 835 that if approved, would legalize cockfighting, except if the birds have implements strapped to their legs. The measure would also make it legal for people to maintain cockfighting facilities and to possess birds for fighting. It would eliminate the forfeiture provisions in the law and reduce penalties for the few remaining illegal cockfighting acts to a pittance, rendering the altered law all but unenforceable.
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