Animal Rights

Texas Sporting News


A Texas law (PDF) that took effect yesterday makes it a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine) to manufacture, sell, buy, or possess "a gaff, slasher, or other sharp implement designed for attachment to a cock." Although this provision brings to mind a scene from Seven, it is not aimed at kinky sex toys; it is part of a bill strengthening the state's ban on cockfighting, a sport that is now illegal in every state. (Louisiana, the last holdout, approved a ban in 2007.) Even watching a cockfight is now a crime in Texas (a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine). By contrast, another new Texas law legalizes noodling, a sport that involves catching a fish by ramming your arm down its throat. If you participate in a noodling tournament, however, you should know that contestants who misrepresent the weight of a fish (by slipping some buckshot into it, for example) are committing a third-degree felony, which can get you two to 10 years in prison. For those who prefer shooting hogs from a helicopter, that also is newly legal in Texas.

[Thanks to Sam Rosenstein for the tip.]