Monday, April 18, 2011

Alabama has a cockfighting lobby?

Sometimes Alabama lives up to its reputation and there is no way to defend the state:

Cockfighting lobby likely to derail bill that would stiffen penalties for crime

Published: Friday, April 15, 2011, 8:00 AM
By George Altman

Alabama's cockfighting lobby appears to be on the verge of blocking yet another bill that would impose stiffer penalties for the crime, the bill's sponsor said.

State Rep. Jim Barton, R-Mobile, said that while House Bill 74, which would elevate the offense from parking-ticket levels to hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars in fines and potential jail time, has passed through committee, it probably won't be considered by the full House.

"The sentiment of the House - particularly a lot of the northern Alabama representatives - (is that they) do not want to deal with it," Barton said. "I think there's been a lot of pressure on those guys."

The pressure, according to Barton, has come from the Alabama Gamefowl Breeders Association, which has helped derail similar bills in recent years.

"Alabama has more important things to worry about than cockfighting," said D'Renda Lewis, the association's secretary.

Not only are the $20 to $50 maximum fines for cockfighting currently on the books sufficient, they shouldn't even apply to most cockfights in Alabama, which are not held in public places and are, therefore, legal, according to Lewis.

"The majority of people who participate in cockfighting in Alabama are not doing anything against the law," Lewis said. [more]

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