Skip to comments.Dogfights, cockfights come under House spotlight (Texas)
Posted on 04/22/2005 1:02:25 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
AUSTIN Spurred by the biggest dogfight bust in recent Texas history in eastern Bexar County last January a San Antonio lawmaker is trying to increase penalties for those who engage in or profit from rooster and dog bouts.
Under the proposal, House Bill 2222 by Democratic Rep. Jose Menendez, people involved in dogfights or cockfights or who share in their earnings or allow their property to be used for them could be charged with a state jail felony.
Currently such offenses are misdemeanors. The bill also would increase the penalty for being a spectator at such events from a Class C to a Class A misdemeanor.
"We are trying to cut down on these 'sports activities' because they are cruel and barbaric. Animals are abused and law enforcement needs additional tools," such as a greater deterrent, to curb what is already illegal, Menendez said.
Law enforcement officers have said that in breaking up dogfights and cockfights, they often find cash, drugs, and weapons as well as evidence of gambling and money laundering, he said.
Menendez said he was particularly bothered that police sometimes find children at the events.
Officers from across the state, including two from the Bexar County Sheriff's Department, were scheduled to testify at a hearing before a House Criminal Jurisprudence subcommittee late Thursday. If the panel approves the measure, it will go to the full committee.
A group that says it represents the "gamefowl industry" was opposed to the bill.
In the Bexar County raid, five persons were arrested and 20 others cited for being spectators, while 90 pit bulls, including 40 puppies, were seized.
Menendez also cited statements from Tyler police who last month accused a man of involvement in a ring that stole house pets and used them as training bait for fighting dogs.
"The police found dogs, house pets, with their mouths taped shut that were mauled and killed by the fighting dogs 'practicing,'" Menendez said.
He said the bill's cockfighting provisions are aimed at ensuring the safety of the poultry industry, because birds who fight foreign-raised birds could contract and spread exotic Newcastle disease and avian influenza, which could devastate domestic poultry operations.
Thanks. I'll see if I can make heads or tails of it. If there isn't a trip up to suspend hunting...maybe some emails/faxes or phone calls of support are in order.
>>>Texas Aggies, Cajuns and de Mafia.
What groups are these?
And where is PETA on this?
Harrassing responsible pet and livestock owners.
Be kind, I'm blonde. Next time provide footnotes, and mapquest, and maybe a billboard...
I can't even bear to read about the family pet dogs with their mouths taped closed, etc.
I hate Pit Bulls and one day when I was at the Vets with my dog a young man came in with a young Pit Bull with cuts all over it.
I knew when I asked him how old it was and he said, "Oh, I don't know" that he was using it for fighting rather than as a pet.
They sell for a high price in South Texas and many are stolen from families to use for fighting. Some people have no conscience.
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