Cockfighting bill passes the House

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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to make cockfighting a crime in Utah finally appears poised to pass the legislature.

Senate Bill 134, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, passed the House late Tuesday on a 41-33 vote. It must go back to the Senate for concurrence because of a House amendment to the bill before going to the governor for action.

In the House debate, Rep. Earl Tanner, R-West Jordan, declared that roosters fight because it is their nature.

“By animal standards, this isn’t such a bad life that these fighting roosters have,” he said. “There’s nothing inherently immoral about fighting chickens.”

Other lawmakers disagreed. Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, called cockfighting “reprehensible.”

“This is heinous,” he said.


  • Tony

    I’ve been spending my Sunday afternoons at my in-laws house when we could have been cockfighting instead all this time?

  • New Age

    I find the term cockfighting offensive, in this day and age the word cock has a whole other meaning than rooster. Cockfighting sounds like some twisted sexual activity between men.

  • SoBu

    This isn’t such a bad life these roosters have?! And they fight because it is their nature?! I only have one question: Who voted for Earl Tanner?

      • SoBu

        Yes, sadly because people are idiots and have no clue what they vote for. That’s why I don’t vote at all. Don’t you think politicians, with the status they hold, should be knowledgeable about many things? They should be sort of a renaissance man/woman. We don’t elect officials to make ridiculous comments about cock-fighting that are uneducated. If there are no scientific facts/evidence/studies coming out of their mouths, they should keep their opinions to themselves or they shouldn’t speak on the topic. I will be sending Representative Earl some great reads on the truth about cock-fighting. I assume he won’t understand.

    • Bob

      I recommend watching the series Roots with Chicken George, It will give a good insight of cockfighting. Growing up on a farm it is what roosters do, they fight and peck at each other all the time.

    • SoBu

      I really wish people would educate themselves before opening their mouths. Domestic chicken engage in “ritual showdowns” and have the potential to cause injury. Cock-fighters have taken advantage of that fact to claim that domestic bird fighting is a natural act and what the bird wants to do. Cock-fighters augment spurs on the birds’ tarsi (for simple peoples, these are the birds’ ankles) and they confine the birds with close contact and in absurdly small spaces lacking in visual stimuli in order to achieve the results they desire. (Sounds a lot like dog fighting; no the Pit Bull is not a “naturally” aggressive breed.) It is an entirely contrived and artificial situation. The purpose of cock-fighting is not to cause damage, it is to cause death. I am continually amazed at the simplicity of the human mind that one could really assume these animals are this way naturally. Please research the effects of cock-fighting and puppy mills and their affect on animals lives. It is no joke. Stop making assumptions that these animals are this way naturally. NO. It is always the human’s fault. Disgusting creatures we are.

  • Steven Steele

    What kind of a person could possibly think cockfighting is entertainment? It really
    makes me wonder if Republican Earl Tanner has a conscious? Does this jerk think
    its a hoot to watch living creatures kill each other? This should be a feloney and the
    no-brain human garbage that engage in this kind of vulgar activity should be removed
    from society.

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