Cockfighting foes face hard fight to keep Oklahoma initiative gains

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2003:

OKLAHOMA CITY–Oklahoma cockfighters are not just taking
their battle to stay in business to the state Supreme Court; they
are trying to take the state Supreme Court off the case.
Oklahoma voters approved an initiative banning cockfighting
in November 2002, 56%-44%, but in 57 sparsely populated rural
counties, of 77 counties in all, the majority voted to keep
cockfighting legal.
Local judges in 27 of the 57 rural counties soon thereafter
held the anti-cockfighting initiative to have been unconstitutional.
The first prosecution under the initiative was attempted by
the Kingfisher County sheriff’s department in early December, after
one Luis Rangel was found with more than 100 suspected gamecocks
while sheriffs’ deputies were investigating an alleged case of horse
neglect. But Kingfisher County assistant district attorney Ard Gates
on December 5 refused to press the case against Rangel.

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