Is Cockfighting Legal In Los Angeles?

Posted By Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners ||

What is Cockfighting?

Cockfighting is a centuries-old blood sport in which two roosters (“gamecocks”), specifically bred for fighting, are placed in a pit to fight to the death for purposes of gambling and entertainment. A typical cockfight lasts anywhere from two minutes to a half hour. Although cockfighting is a crime in all 50 states, it persists in many communities and cultures across the nation. Cockfights usually end with the death of one of the roosters. The roosters have gaffs, razor-sharp steel blades 1 ½ to 3 inches long, attached to one leg. These gaffs are used to inflict maximum injury and are so sharp they can gouge an eye, puncture a lung, or break a bone.

Cockfighting is cruel and is now considered animal abuse in the United States. Law enforcement knows cockfighting is strongly connected to other crimes such as gambling; possession or sale of drugs; and possession of illegal weapons. If you believe cockfighting is occurring in your neighborhood, contact your local law enforcement agency.

California Law

Cockfighting is illegal in California. In fact, cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states. A cockfighting charge can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony in California, punishable by 180 days in county jail and up to three years in state prison. Due to recently passed amendments, penalties for engaging in, sponsoring, and selling cockfighting implements orattending a cockfight have substantially increased.

Under the United States Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. section 2156(a), cockfighting can also be prosecuted as a federal felony. This law states it is unlawful for a person to “knowingly sponsor or exhibit an animal in an animal fighting venture." According to the law, “any event, in or affecting interstate commerce, that involves a fight conducted or to be conducted between at least two animals for purposes of sport, wagering, or entertainment” can be considered an “animal fighting venture.” As a federal crime the penalty is up to five years in federal prison. It is also a illegal to knowingly sell, buy, transport, or deliver in interstate or foreign commerce knives, gaffs, or any sharp instruments designed to be attached to the leg of the bird for use in an animal fighting venture.

Speak To An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

We are knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorneys and we want to hear your side of the story. Come in for a no-charge consultation and learn what Los Angeles prosecutors need to prove to convict you of cockfighting, or crimes connected to cockfighting. We bring decades of criminal law experience to work for you and your case.

Call (213) 481-6811 to set up your consultation with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.

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