Chance Campo, once the district director for a commission that promoted the interests of gamefowl owners in Oklahoma, is now facing a felony charge for his alleged role in refereeing cockfights.
Campo was arrested by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office in June and charged by the Oklahoma District Attorney Craig Ladd last month for one count of furthering and facilitating cockfights, according to criminal information records. That included refereeing the birds at the fight, advertising the fight and serving as a stakeholder for any money wagered.
Cockfighting has been illegal in the U.S. since 2021. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 42 states currently classify it as a felony. Oklahoma banned it in 2002.
KFOR-TV reported that Campo was charged along with seven other men after police were tipped off and busted up a cockfight held inside a barn in Ratliff City, Oklahoma. There were reportedly almost 200 people on the scene, including Campo.
The cockfighting ring was known as the “Asian Gaff Championship,” according to The Ardmoreite, a local Oklahoma news outlet.
Police seized nearly $15,000 during the bust in June, confiscated roughly 60 fighting roosters and impounded 15 trucks, trailers and other vehicles. Many of the roosters were injured or dead, police said. Others were found with blades attached to their legs. These attachments are commonly known as “gaffs.”
Campo faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted and could be fined up to $25,000.
Animal welfare advocacy groups, Animal Wellness Action and Showing Animals Respect Respect and Kindness, also known as SHARK, said in a statement that their groups documented claims of gamecock farms run by leaders of the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission and discovered “videos touting their marketing efforts and participation in cockfighting derbies, as well as evidence of shipments of gamecocks through U.S. mail, gamecock price lists and more.”
“Mr. Campo’s arrest only confirms what we’ve long known,” Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy. “People involved in the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission are cockfighters, and they are intent on gutting a key state anti-cruelty law so they can avoid legal jeopardy for their felonious activities.”
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Gamefowl commission boss Chance Campo faces cockfight charge
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