Cockfighting recognition measure passes first hurdle
Illegal cockfighting in Hawai'i would be recognized for its cultural merits under a resolution advanced yesterday by a state House committee.
The House Tourism, Culture and International Affairs Committee passed the resolution on a 4-2 vote yesterday, sending it to the House Judiciary Committee.
The resolution does not have the force of law, and it wouldn't legalize cockfighting.
But cockfighting enthusiasts and farmers packed the committee room at the Capitol to tell lawmakers about cockfighting's history and cultural importance in the islands.
Animal rights groups opposed the measure, calling cockfighting a cruel blood sport.
Cockfighting is a misdemeanor under state law, punishable by a maximum fine of $2,000 and one year in prison.