The statute to increase penalties for cockfighting finally made it out of House Ag Sub, but it wasn't unanimous:
The House Agriculture Subcommittee, with a somewhat changed makeup from the previous legislative session, approved the bill on voice vote Wednesday. Two members, Republican Reps. Andy Holt of Dresden and Judd Matheny of Tullahoma, had themselves recorded as voting no.
Matheny said "a lot of people in my area - I don't know that they're cockfighting - raise roosters" and that he generally believes the Legislature "has better things to worry about than what to do with the lowly chicken."
Holt said the Humane Society of the United States - "an arch rival of animal agriculture" - pushes the legislation and he sees it as a "first step" toward making some practices involved in raising and handling livestock a crime.
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