Daly City Man Arrested on Felony Animal Abuse Charges of Cockfighting (CA Penal Code 597)

The practice of cockfighting has a long history both domestically and abroad.  In fact, it has been in existence for at least 6,000 years.  It is popular in countries like Cuba and is still popular in the United States, despite the efforts of lawmakers and animal rights activists’ attempts to end the practice altogether.  Louisiana was the last state to outlaw the sport in 2008, but there are many people who still believe it to be a true gaming practice, a way of life, and an integral part of certain cultures rather than the barbaric treatment of living things.  Whatever your opinion, you’ll be interested in the following story.

56-year-old (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) was recently arrested on charges of felony animal abuse for running a cockfighting setup in Broadmoor, near Daly City.  Evidently, citizens in the area had begun to notice that roosters could be heard fighting behind a particular restaurant.  Law enforcement officials arrived at the scene and eventually found at least 12 roosters and 8 chickens in his possession.  They were easily identified as gamecocks that were used for the purpose of fighting.

He pled no contest and has been sentenced to probation and 3 months in county jail.  However, according to California Penal Code 597 (the law concerning animal abuse and animal cruelty), 597(b), 597(c), 597(i), and 597(j) all apply specifically to cockfighting.  Usually, if you allow someone to have a cockfight knowingly, or manufacture, buy, sell, possess, etc. any piece of equipment used for such fights, or possessing (or training) a gamecock for the express purposes of entering it into a fight, the law calls for a $5,000 fine and 2 year in county jail.  Even if you are simply caught as a spectator, you may face up to 6 months in county (a misdemeanor) and a $1,000 fine.  However, his charges are more serious, he has been charged with a felony.  In order for that to be the case, this must not be his first offense.  He was lucky to receive so little time in prison, considering the law.