SANTA FE, N.M., March 12 LAWFUEL – US Legal News — Today Gove…

SANTA FE, N.M., March 12 LAWFUEL – US Legal News — Today Governor Bill Richardson signed Senate Bill (SB) 10, making cockfighting a crime in the state of NewMexico. According to the new law, those participating in cockfighting can be charged with a petty-misdemeanor on the first offense, a misdemeanor on the second offense, and a fourth-degree felony on the third and subsequent
offenses.

“This is a landmark event in the history of New Mexico as we become the 49th state to make cockfighting a criminal act. After decades of debate in the State Legislature, the voices of the vast majority of New Mexicans who support a ban on cockfighting have finally been heard,” said Lisa Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection Voters. “Cockfighting is cruelty to animals. New Mexico has made it clear that it does not tolerate intentionally maiming and killing animals for fun and gambling
entertainment, and we are grateful to Governor Richardson, Senator Garcia
and the Legislature for their support.” Since the late 1980s, states have
only been successful at banning cockfighting through citizen initiatives
rather than through state legislatures.

The bill for the statewide ban on cockfighting, sponsored by Senator
Mary Jane Garcia (D-Dona Ana), passed the House of Representatives on
Thursday with 49 representatives voting in favor of the bill and 20
opposed. It returned to the Senate for concurrence on an amendment, and
passed its final legislative hurdle Friday morning with a 27 to 6 vote. As the law goes into effect on July 1, 2007, Louisiana will be the only state in the country that allows cockfighting.

Cockfighting involves arming two roosters with razor-sharp knives or
ice pick-like gaffs and pitting them against each other in a fight to the
death. The roosters are often given drugs to enhance their aggression.
Cockfights almost always involve some form of illegal gambling.

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