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.
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
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
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.