Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt slammed for openly supporting cockfighting –


Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is getting blasted by animal rights activists and fellow lawmakers for showing overwhelming support for cockfighting. In a video submitted for the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission Sunday, Stitt propped up gamefowl farming as vital for the rural economy and aligned himself with the group whose mission is to legalize the inhumane sport.“I wish I could be with you for the Game Fowl Commission’s annual legislative meeting, but I wanted to take a moment to cheer you on from the sidelines,” Stitt said. The second-term Republican governor applauded the commission for “preserving” Oklahoma’s heritage of cockfighting, which he claimed was a product of the state’s “spirit of competition and camaraderie.”Stitt stated cockfighting is also a main driver for the state’s economy, despite being made illegal in 2002.“We need to protect the nearly 5,000 game fowl farmers across Oklahoma and lift up our rural and municipal economies. I can’t wait to see what we accomplished together in the next legislative session,” Stitt said. The commission is expected to push for cockfighting legalization to be re-examined in the 2024 session — lawmakers failed to pass such a law in either the state Senate or House of Representatives. Animal rights activists — including a former Oklahoma governor — slammed Stitt for openly supporting the abusive sport, which is known to contribute to other underground crimes such as drugs and gambling, as well as help spread the avian flu.“Cockfighting is barbaric and bound up with other crimes,” former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who served from 1995 to 2004, said in a statement.“Governor Stitt is associating himself with lawlessness, and that’s not a proper role for any statewide elected official.”Former Governor Frank Keating accused Stitt of being out of touch with his constituents, pointing to 2023 polling proving that less than 10 percent of Oklahomans think cockfighting should be legal and nearly 90 percent of voters favor the existing statewide ban that makes cockfighting a felony.“It is an embarrassment to me that any elected official seeks to turn back the clock on this morally settled issue. Talk of decriminalizing cockfighting is toxic to the idea of economic development and forward progress for our great state,” Keating said. Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action, said anti-cockfighting is a typically unanimous front for Oklahoma lawmakers. He accused the state’s sheriffs of largely turning a blind eye to reports of players in the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission continuing the sport, which is considered a felony.“Gov. Stitt’s barely concealed embrace of cockfighting is both jarring and unique in American politics,” Pacelle said. “No other governor in any state during my 30 years of working on this issue has ever signaled support for staged animal fighting. Any politician supporting it embraces animal cruelty and lawlessness.”

All data is taken from the source: http://nypost.com
Article Link: https://nypost.com/2023/11/16/news/oklahoma-governor-kevin-stitt-slammed-for-openly-supporting-cockfighting/

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