House passes bans on cockfight related activities

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — With some lawmakers actually crowing for emphasis, the Texas House has approved a measure to toughen punishments for activities related to cockfighting.

The bill amends the state penal code to make it a felony to knowingly cause one rooster to fight another, earn money from fights or operate a facility for them.

It also makes owning or training a cock for fighting a misdemeanor, and attending a fight as a spectator a lesser misdemeanor.

Unlike some other states, it wasn't a crime in Texas to own or operate a cockfighting facility, own cockfighting equipment, train a cock, or attend fights.

The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Wayne Christian, said just before Thursday's vote, "let my chickens go." Some representatives answered with their best "cock-a-doodle-dos."