Wait what? Oklahoma’s governor expresses support for cockfighting

This is one of the strangest things I’ve ever written about. You might think that a state governor would do better to announce his support for the blood sport of cockfighting, but here we are. Last week, Animal Wellness Action, the Center for a Humane Economy, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, and former Attorney General Drew Edmondson criticized current Gov. Kevin Stitt for sending a video in support of the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission, and said he “wanted to take a moment to cheer you on from the sidelines” during their annual meeting.

Well, the Gamefowl Commission seems legitimate, perhaps an organization that works to protect birds like quail and pheasants. No. It is a cockfighting advocacy group. Yes, dear readers, there are actually people who love making roosters fight each other with blades attached to them, and who love the activity so much that they form a lobbying group.

And Governor Stitt is like, “Cool people, I love you, keep it up.”

In case anyone thought that perhaps Stitt simply didn’t understand what the group was about, note that he also said, “Oklahomans like you remained committed to the spirit of competition and camaraderie that runs deep in our communities.”

I mean what?

The Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission has donated more than $70,000 to Oklahoma lawmakers to get them to lower cockfighting fines, including $2,000 to Stitt. The animal cruelty gambling activity was made illegal in the state in 2002 and enforcement began in 2004. The bills the organization has championed would have allowed individual counties to decide not only the legality of cockfighting, but also the breeding of fighting animals.

“Cockfighting enthusiasts at the (Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission) are using ill-gotten gains from their ongoing criminal behavior and acquisition of influence in the capital to attempt to gut a voter-approved law,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy.
“What’s next, lobby groups for dog fighters and drug lords?”

“We must protect the nearly 5,000 wildfowl farmers across Oklahoma and stimulate our rural and local economies,” Stitt added. “I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together in the next legislative session.”

Yes, let’s achieve great things like animal cruelty.

I’m not taking any crazy pills, am I? I’m not crazy if I think government leaders shouldn’t actively promote cockfighting, am I? Did Stitt write a letter to Michael Vick praising him for being active in the community after he was caught dogfighting?

Photo credit: WOKANDAPIX Street Pixabay

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