Cockfighting now a felony in Utah

Tuesday , March 31, 2015 - 8:20 AM

The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Republican governor has signed a bill that makes cockfighting a felony after repeat offenses.

The measure signed by Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday makes cockfighting a misdemeanor on the first and second offenses and a felony on the third.

Lawmakers killed a similar measure two years in a row but accepted the version proposed by Democratic Sen. Gene Davis, of Salt Lake City, this year.

Davis said cockfighting is a felony in all other Western states. He argued that Utah has become a magnet for the sport because it is only a misdemeanor.

The practice is considered animal cruelty by many.

Opponents of the bill say the punishment is out of proportion with the crime.

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