State’s cockfighting law rated nation’s weakest

Published 10:30 am Monday, February 2, 2009

MONTGOMERY — The Humane Society of the United States rates Alabama’s cockfighting law as the nation’s weakest.

Two legislators say they will try to change that in the legislative session starting Tuesday.

The law currently is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $25 to $50. Democratic state Sen. Hinton Mitchem of Union Grove and Republican state Rep. Cam Ward of Alabaster are offering a bill that would make cockfighting a felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison.

The state director of the Humane Society of the United States, Mindy Gilbert, says it’s time to make the consequences of cockfighting greater than the gains that come from breaking the law.