Animal Fighting Enforcement Act Fails

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Last week, the Memphis Flyer reported on Knox County Senator Frank Niceley's support of cockfighting on the (likely historically false) grounds that Abraham Lincoln was down with cockfighting as well.

Niceley was urging fellow Tennessee senators to vote against the Animal Fighting Enforcement Act (SB285), which would have increased penalties for spectators at any animal fight to a Class A misdemeanor and would have made cockfighting a Class E felony. Cockfighting is still a misdemeanor in Tennessee. That bill failed to pass a Senate vote yesterday.

No senators from Shelby County voted against the bill, but two passed on voting. Jim Kyle of Memphis, Brian Kelsey of Germantown, and Mark Norris of Collierville voted in favor of strengthening penalties against animal fighters and spectators. Ophelia Ford of Memphis did not vote, and Reginald Tate of Memphis passed on voting. The bill was only two votes shy of passing, so had Ford and Tate (or another of the many senators who passed on voting for this) taken a stand, the bill would have passed.

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