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UofL student accused of cooking live chickens pleads not guilty, faces misdemeanor charges

Animal advocates pointed out that this case highlights a massive gap in Kentucky law for animal cruelty crimes.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A University of Lousiville student pleaded not guilty Wednesday for what police called "an alarming case of animal cruelty."

Louisville Metro Police Department said Prince Woodson turned himself in after allegedly live-streaming himself cooking live baby chickens on social media. He now faces a misdemeanor for the incident.

Animal rights advocate and former LMPD Lieutenant, Joye Keeley, says Woodson isn't facing a more severe charge because consequences for animal cruelty depend on what kind of animal is being abused. 

"There's a huge gap in the animal abuse laws in the state of Kentucky that needs to be rectified," she said. 

Keeley says only cats and dogs are truly protected under state law. She says if those animals are seriously injured or killed, it's a felony. But the torture of any other animal, including chickens, is considered a misdemeanor.

Keeley says this means if Woodson is convicted, he could serve up to a year in prison. However, she adds that's a slim chance. 

"For a person to serve 365 days for any misdemeanor committed in Kentucky is very rare, particularly when the crime is against animals," she said. 

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Kentucky is one of the worst states for animal protection laws. Keely says that could change if legislators want it to. 

"The people of Kentucky care about animals," Keeley said. "They care solely about the suffering of the animal, and our legislators need to listen to that."

A judge set Woodson's bond at $35,000 and ordered he have no contact with any animals and no social media.

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