State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today voted in favor of HB 215, legislation prohibiting knowing engagement in cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another. The bill passed the House on a vote of 85-7 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.


 The bill’s passage comes after U.S. Marshals uncovered a cockfighting ring in Youngstown in late January. Over 50 chickens were discovered either deceased or in poor condition on the East Side, a number too large to justify ownership merely for egg or food production. The Vindicator reported on the incident, citing that one of the Marshals declared it to be one of the worst cases he has seen. 


“This bill is especially relevant for our community in Mahoning County considering the recent cases of animal cruelty that authorities discovered,” Boccieri said. “I am glad to see Ohio take a stronger stance on animal cruelty that crosses many lines of decency.” 


Several households on the East Side keep chickens, but many owners treat their animals well, according to staff at the Mahoning County Dog Warden’s Office. 

 
 
 
  
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