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Name: People v. Baniqued
Case #: C031869
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/29/2000
Subsequent History: None

A rooster or other bird falls within the statutory definition of “every dumb creature” and therefore qualifies as an animal for purposes of the animal cruelty statutes described by Penal Code section 597, subdivisions (a) and (b). The statutory language used in the statute is unambiguous. The phrase “dumb creatures” describes all animals except human beings. An analysis of legislative history supports the view that a rooster is an animal. The specific statutes prohibiting cockfighting do not preclude charging under general animal cruelty statutes where the acts are particularly cruel. The Legislature intended the cockfighting statutes to address conduct which is less egregious than conduct proscribed by section 597. Where, as here, the activity involves the malicious or intentional maiming, mutilating, torturing, or other cruelty to roosters, the person is properly convicted under section 597 of either a felony or a misdemeanor. Therefore, where appellant engaged in cock-fighting which created a “scene of undeniable horror,” his convictions for felony violations of section 597, subdivisions (a) and (b) were affirmed.