November 20, 2023 3 min read


OK Gov. Remarks Misinterpreted as Animal Cruelty Support

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt recently showed support for the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission, a group that proposes reduction of penalties for illegal cockfights

Despite being deemed illegal across the United States, cockfighting still makes its way into some states, attracting bettors and participants who enjoy this cruel activity that some call “sport.” With punishments varying from prison to fines, law enforcement across the country continues to battle illegal cock fights.

Oklahoma banned cockfights back in 2002. However, due to legal challenges, the ban was effectively implemented two years later, in 2004. Although the ban is currently in effect, lobbying efforts that seek to reduce the penalties for people involved in cockfights continue. In a recent video, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt undoubtedly raised eyebrows after showing support for the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission (OGC).

The Commission is known to support changes that call for reducing penalties for illegal cockfighting. The recent message from the Governor was sent to the Commission for its recent annual legislative meeting. “I wanted to take a moment to cheer you on from the sidelines,” said Gov. Stitt.

He spoke about the rich history of gamefowl in Oklahoma. At the same time, Gov. Stitt said that the state needs to protect its gamefowl farmers which are nearly 5,000 across the state in an effort to boost its local economies. Moreover, he added: “I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together in the next legislative season.”

You all know Oklahoma’s long and storied history with gamefowl, from statehood to today. Oklahomans like yourself remain dedicated to the spirit of competition and camaraderie that runs deep in our communities. The Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission has come to play a big role in preserving this heritage.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt

The Governor Doesn’t Support Animal Cruelty

The support of the Governor for the OGC raised eyebrows, especially the part of his statement that addresses the future accomplishments during the upcoming legislative session. Animal rights groups across the country have previously condemned cockfights due to the cruel nature of the activity. Besides special fighting breeds, cockfights allow slashers or gaffs, attributes that are similar to razors or spikes, to be attached to the feet of the birds. Once the birds start to fight, the gaffs and slashers can cut or stab the opponent which in some cases results in death.

Abegail Cave, a spokesperson for the Governor’s office, cited by The Oklahoman, commented on the topic. She explained that Gov. Stitt’s video showed support for the agricultural community, rejecting claims that he supported animal cruelty in any way. “He supports Oklahoma agriculture and often records videos for ag groups around the state,” she added. Cave was asked about the upcoming “accomplishments” for the OGC in the upcoming season to which she responded that the Governor hasn’t endorsed or seen any legislation on this particular subject.


William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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