New Louisiana compromise proposed: No cockfighting after 2007

June 5, 2007
Reported by Associated Press

A new compromise plan to ban cockfighting in Louisiana emerged today as a Senate committee approved a measure that would outlaw the blood sport at the end of 2007.

The House and Senate have been haggling since last year over the best way to criminalize cockfighting in Louisiana, the only state where the rooster fights have not been banned.  The Senate has supported an immediate ban on cockfighting while the House has backed a delayed ban that would take effect next August.

On Thursday, Senator Joel Chaisson of Destrehan offered a new compromise: a ban that would take effect January first, 2008.  He amended the House bill in a Senate judiciary committee that he chairs, won approval from the panel and sent the amended measure to the full Senate for debate.

The measure's sponsor, Representative Harold Ritchie, said he supported the change.

Ritchie, of Bogalusa, and several committee members said their worst fear is that lawmakers would again fail to agree on some sort of ban and leave Louisiana with the distinction as the only state where rooster fighting remains legal.

Senator Tom Schedler of Slidell says the House and Senate are playing chicken with the bill.