SALT LAKE CITY -- On the final day of the 2013 session, lawmakers voted to not increase the penalty associated with cockfighting.
In a morning hearing Thursday, the House voted 28-39 to defeat a measure that would have moved the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony. Utah is one of only two states west of the Mississippi where the offense is not a felony.
Rep. Daniel McCay, R-Bluffdale, said he saw little benefit in sending people to prison for what he described as "ridiculous activity."
Some lawmakers warned the activity is a magnet for gambling and drug sales and use. They argued the light sentence equates to an invitation to people to initiate cockfighting activities in the Beehive State.