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Claremore Daily Progress

A sporting event?
1/22/02

If cockfighting is such a popular sport in Oklahoma, why is it that you never read about the results on the sports pages?

Oklahoma is one of only four states where those who place animals in a pit to fight to the death for amusement and wagering can do so legally. And Oklahoma is one of just seven states where keeping and training animals for the purpose of fighting is also perfectly legal.

Anyone who has witnessed a cockfight can attest to the sadistic cruelty of these events. These animals are bred to maximize aggression. The fighting chickens are additionally fitted with razor-sharp knives, making fights even bloodier. Broken bones, gouged eyes, mauled faces and other grievous wounds are all typical, as is the blood splattered everywhere. Even the winners often die from their injuries.

Congress is expected to act soon to bar the interstate shipping of birds for fighting. It already is illegal to ship dogs across state lines for fighting. Oklahoma should act as well to join the overwhelming majority of other states with strong laws against animal fighting. Cockfighting is not a sport. It's brutal, bloody, inhumane conduct.