Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, was stabbed by a knife attached to the leg of a fighting rooster, the Kern County coroner’s office said Friday.
The accidental stab wound to Ochoa’s calf, as determined by the autopsy, happened Sunday in Earlimart in Tulare County. He was taken to Delano Regional Medical Center, where he died about two hours later.
The coroner didn’t specify what killed Ochoa, whether it was excessive bleeding, infection or something else.
Even though Kern County handled the autopsy, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation. It’s unknown if a cockfight was underway at the time of the accident.
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Cockfighting has a tradition in some American cultures and history. It is said that some presidents participated in cockfighting including Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson.
Cockfighting Legal issues
In the United States, cockfighting is illegal in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.. The last state to implement a state law banning cockfighting was Louisiana; the Louisiana State Legislature voted to approve a Louisiana ban in June 2007. The ban took effect in August 2008. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have made cockfighting a felony, and it is illegal in 40 states and the District of Columbia to be a spectator at cockfights. Animal welfare activists continue to lobby for a ban on the sport. Cockfighting remains legal in the United States territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam, although in 2006, the Virgin Islands adopted a law banning modifications such as the use of artificial spurs.
The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, a federal law that made it a federal crime to transfer cockfighting implements across state or national borders and increasing the penalty for violations of federal animal fighting laws to three years in prison became law in 2007. It passed the House of Representatives 368-39 and the Senate by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President George W. Bush.