On March 12, 2007 New Mexico Governor Bill Richards signed Senate Bill 10 to enact a statewide ban on cockfighting, which goes into effect on July 1, 2007.
“Senate Bill 10 is fair and it is humane,” said Governor Richardson. “I am proud that New Mexico will now move beyond cockfighting and join the 48 other states that have already banned this outdated practice.”
New Mexico is the 49th state to pass a law that makes cockfighting illegal on the grounds of extreme cruelty to animals. Louisiana is left as the lone state to allow the practice, in which two fighting cocks (roosters) are trained to severely injure and/or kill one another, and wagers are made on the outcome.
Under the law, those found guilty of participating in cockfighting can be charged with a petty-misdemeanor on a first conviction and a misdemeanor on a second conviction. A fourth-degree felony will be charged on any conviction thereon. If found guilty, penalties under the new law may range from a court ordered participation in an animal cruelty prevention program to psychological treatment for extreme cases.
The bill was sponsored by the Senator Mary Jane Garcia, the Animal Protection Voters of New Mexico and the New Mexico Catholic Conference of Bishops.