- Associated Press - Monday, April 16, 2012

MONTGOMERY, ALA. (AP) - Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has made another effort to say animal cruelty is wrong, urging Alabama lawmakers to increase penalties for cockfighting.

Vick says in a statement Monday that Alabama’s cockfighting law is the nation’s “weakest” because the $50 fine is the maximum punishment. Vick has been outspoken against animal cruelty since he served 16 months in federal prison on a dog-fighting conviction.

Vick says he doesn’t want others to make the same mistake of being cruel to animals.

Sen. Cam Ward introduced a bill that would upgrade the state’s penalty for illegal cockfighting to a class A misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $6,000. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee early in the session, but the Senate Rules Committee refused to bring up the bill for a vote.