By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Members of an Alabama House committee
have heard impassioned and conflicting over a bill to dramatically
increase penalties for cockfighting.

Bird breeders argued Wednesday that the animals are often raised
for shows and not for fighting. Officials with the Humane Society
described cockfighting as a cruel practice and said the birds often
have sharp blades on their legs.

The House Agriculture and Forestry Committee did not vote after
the public hearing that lasted for about two hours.

Currently it's a misdemeanor to participate in cockfights, with
a fine of $20 to $50. The bill debated Wednesday would carry a fine
of up to $10,000 and up to one year in jail for a first conviction.
It would provide a $20,000 fine and one to 10 years in prison for a
second conviction.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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