A Republican state senator from Utah said Tuesday he opposed making cockfighting a felony in the state because abortion was legal, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
“In a state where we can still allow people to kill their babies, we want to make it a felony to let chickens fight — the purpose for which they were raised,” Sen. Allen Christensen said. “It’s not beautiful, it’s not wonderful or any such thing.”
Organizing a cockfight in Utah is currently a class A misdemeanor. Proponents of the bill noted that cockfighting is a felony in Utah’s neighboring states and the lesser penalties could make Utah attractive to fans of the fights.
“Do we really want to make it a felony and go to prison [because] two chickens were bred — which naturally want to do this thing in their lives — and we’re going to send their owners to prison for this?” Christensen added. “Yet we allow people to go ahead and murder their unborn babies? I vote no.”
The legislation would make organizing a cockfight punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The bill also makes attending a cockfight a class B misdemeanor.
The state Senate passed the bill by a 19-9 vote. The legislation now heads to the state House.
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