The Louisiana Legislature has passed an act to ban cockfighting, which will make the blood sport illegal in all 50 states.
In the spring, New Mexico became the second-to-last state to ban cockfighting. Congress later passed the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, a bill to impose felony-level penalties for activities in interstate or foreign commerce that facilitate or promote animal fighting. In May, President Bush signed the bill into federal law.
The Louisiana bill on cockfighting, which Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed July 12, will prohibit cockfighting and the possession of chickens for the purpose of cockfighting. The state ban becomes effective Aug. 15, 2008.
The first violation will lead to a maximal fine of $1,000 and a maximal prison sentence of six months. Subsequent offenses will lead to harsher penalties.
Louisiana also banned gambling on cockfights. The first violation leads to a maximal fine of $500 and a maximal prison sentence of six months, with subsequent offenses leading to twice the penalties.
Furthermore, the law imposes a maximal fine of $20,000 and a maximal prison sentence of five years on anyone who knowingly handles a business or premises where gambling at a cockfight occurs.
Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states and a felony in almost all of them.