Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick) today heralded the House passage of House Bill (HB) 215, legislation to increase penalties for those who knowingly engage in activities associated with cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another. Joint sponsored by Rep. Bishoff and Rep. Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Township), HB 215 will require anyone found guilty of pitting an animal against another to be charged with a felony offense.
“States with weak cockfighting laws become a hub for a variety of illegal activity, such as gambling, narcotics trafficking and homicide,” said Bishoff. “By elevating the offense from a minor misdemeanor to a felony charge, we send a clear message to Ohioans and the nation that Ohio cares about animal welfare.”
To date, forty states have already moved to make cockfighting a felony offense.
The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.