“In a state that allows people to murder their unborn babies,” said Sen. Allen Christensen, North Ogden, it makes little sense to increase the penalty for people who fight “chickens who are bred, for the purpose they were raised and naturally want to do this” – which is to fight.
Male chickens do fight each other over dominance, right to breed with females, territory and such. But organized cock fighting has been outlawed in Utah for some time.
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis’ SB52 is well-written and good law.
Weiler said he’s learned those who frequent, organize or bet on cock fighting also are involved in drugs, gambling and illegal alcohol use – and so it is appropriate that we raise the penalty from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
Davis, D-Salt Lake, said it has become well known in cock-fighting circles that the penalty in Utah is only a misdemeanor, but in surrounding states it is a felony. That should be changed, as SB52 does.
Christensen’s comments may have influenced some of the anti-abortion GOP senators.
To send people to prison for fighting animals who naturally want to fight each other, while allowing “murdered” “unborn babies,” is just wrong, said Christensen.
SB52 passed the 2nd reading calendar, 17-11, with all 11 “nos” coming from Republicans. It will be voted on again by senators.