Oklahoma Ban on Cockfighting, State Question 687 (2002)

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The Oklahoma Ban on Cockfighting Act, also known as State Question 687, was on the November 5, 2002 ballot in Oklahoma as an initiated state statute, where it was approved. The measure made it illegal to hold or encourage a cockfight, to be a spectator at a cockfight and to keep birds for fighting purposes.[1]

Election results

Oklahoma State Question 687 (2002)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 565,967 56.19%
No441,22043.81%

Election results via: Oklahoma Secretary of State

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title appeared as:[2]

This measure adds a new section to Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes. The measure makes cockfighting illegal. It defines "cockfight" or "cockfighting" as:
1. A fight between birds.
2. Whether or not fitted spurs, knives, or gaffs.
3. Whether or not bets or wagers are made on the outcome of the fight.

The definition includes training fights.

The measure defines equipment used for training or handling a fighting bird.

Under the measure:

1. It is a felony to instigate or encourage cockfighting.
2. It is a felony to keep places, equipment or facilities for cockfighting.
3. It is a felony to aid or assist in cockfighting.
4. It is a felony to own, possess, keep or train birds for cockfighting.

Under the proposal it is a misdemeanor to knowingly be a spectator at a cockfight.

The measure provides for the forfeiture of birds and equipment use in cockfighting.

SHALL THIS PROPOSAL BE APPROVED?

For the Proposal. ___ YES

Against the Proposal. ___ NO [3]

Full text

The full text of the measure can be read here.

Background

The animal protection movement scored a series of major ballot measure victories on Election Day, winning five of six contests in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Oklahoma. In Florida, voters approved a ban on the intensive confinement of pigs in "gestation crates." While in Oklahoma, voters made that state the 48th to ban the inhumane and barbaric practice of cockfighting.[4]

Support

Voters rejected a counter measure in Oklahoma by cockfighters and other groups that would have effectively barred animal advocates from using the initiative process.

"The people of Oklahoma have outlawed the barbaric practice of cockfighting," added Michael Markarian, president of The Fund for Animals, a leading national animal protection organization that strongly backed all of the animal protection ballot measures. "The law is closing in on cockfighters, and there are now only two states that allow these gladiatorial spectacles."[4]

Path to the ballot

90,748 signatures were filed to qualify it for the ballot. Elections officials in the state determined that not enough of the signatures were valid. The supporters filed a lawsuit, and in the case of Oklahoma In re Initiative Petition No. 365, the Oklahoma Supreme Court overruled elections officials, placing the measure on the ballot, and it passed.[4]

See also

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Suggest a link

External links

References