Senator Bill Emmerson (R – Hemet) announced today that he introduced Senate Bill 1145, an important measure that would increase fines for people who are participants or spectators at cockfighting events.
“Cockfighting is a cruel and inhumane sport that is a growing concern in the Inland Southern California region and throughout our state,” Senator Emmerson said. “Clearly, our penalties and fines are not stiff enough to prevent this brutal sport from taking place.”
In California, cockfighting is a misdemeanor. The fine under current law for being a participant in a cockfight or holding a cockfighting event is $5,000. This bill would double the fine to $10,000. Furthermore, cockfighting occurs and continues to be a problem because people are willing to pay money to attend these events. Therefore, SB 1145 would also increase the fine on spectators from $1,000 to $5,000.
“One of the things that we know is that it’s not just the crime of cockfighting, but also the infiltration of gangs, illegal drug activity, prostitution and other serious crimes that are associated with this enterprise,” said San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos. “I support any legislation that seeks to hold those accountable for this deadly so-called sport because we need to teach our children about the responsibilities associated with taking care of our animals.”
SB 1145 is sponsored by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos and supported by The Humane Society of the United States.
"Doubling the fines for this vicious blood sport will give cockfighters extra incentive to abandon their cruel ways, potentially saving countless animals," stated Eric L. Sakach, Senior Law Enforcement Specialist with The Humane Society of the United States.
SB 1145 is currently awaiting its first hearing.