Governor Kevin Stitt faces backlash over cockfighting support
(KTEN)—Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt is under fire for comments made in support of the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission, widely considered to be a cockfighting organization.
"I wish I could be with you for the Gamefowl Association's annual legislative meeting, but I wanted to take a moment to cheer you on from the sidelines," Stitt said in a video addressed to the OGC.
Some take these comments as Stitt supporting the practice of cockfighting. Cockfighting involves attaching weapons to a rooster's legs and agitating the animals until they begin to fight.
"They are hacked and mutilated to death for human amusement and illegal gambling," said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action. "It's a shockingly widespread activity. There are thousands of fighting birds illegally possessed in Oklahoma."
The practice is a felony in Oklahoma, and is also a federal felony. One legislator thinks the punishment is too harsh for the crime.
"It is insane that we had to have this conversation," said state Rep. Justin Humphrey (R-District 19). "I totally support Gov. Stitt in backing this. I back this. I authored a bill, because it's right."
Cockfighting was banned in Oklahoma in 2002 by voter approval.