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Tulsa World

AG's cockfighting request expected

By Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Attorney General's Office will ask the Oklahoma Supreme Court this week to consolidate the lawsuits that are attempting to block enforcement of a new anti-cockfighting law, attorney general
spokesman Charlie Price said.

Lawsuits against the new law have been filed in 27 counties, Assistant Attorney General Sherry Todd said Monday, and restraining orders have been issued to prevent enforcement of the law.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson has indicated that he will ask the Oklahoma Supreme Court to assume original jurisdiction to make a
definitive ruling for all counties.

Voters approved State Question 687 to ban cockfighting in Oklahoma this past November.

The measure passed 56.2 percent to 43.8 percent. It passed in 20 counties but was defeated in 57.

Two days after Oklahoma voters approved it, the proposal came under attack.

State Sen. Frank Shurden, D-Henryetta, said he would introduce legislation to reduce the penalties from felonies to misdemeanors.

SQ 687 makes it a felony to instigate or encourage cockfighting; keep places, equipment or facilities for cockfighting; aid or assist in
cockfighting; or own, possess, keep or train birds for cockfighting.

A conviction would carry a penalty of one to 10 years in prison and a fine of not less than $2,000 or more than $25,000.