Noted former animal abuser Michael Vick appears to have learned his lesson from dogfighting and is voicing his support for an Alabama law that would enforce stricter punishments for another form of animal mistreatment: cockfighting.
“Alabama has the weakest cockfighting law among all 50 states,” Vick said in a statement Monday. “I made a mistake by getting involved in animal fighting and we need to prevent other people from going down the same path I did. Animal cruelty is wrong, whether it is with dogs or birds. I am urging Alabama lawmakers to strengthen the penalties for this crime so it’s not just a slap on the wrist.”
At present, cockfighting in Alabama stipulates a petty $50 fine, a punishment that was first established in 1896. State Sen. Cam Ward, a Republican, has introduced legislation that would upgrade cockfighting to a Class A misdemeanor, fineable for up to $6,000. The bill is currently being held up by the Senate Rules Committee.
Whether or not you believe Vick is truly reformed, you can’t knock him for making an effort to help deter something commonly viewed immoral such as cockfighting. Time will tell if his words can carry any weight. But if he really wants the bill to pass, he should look for more star power and reach out to Manny Pacquiao.
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