The Louisiana House Agriculture Committee voted 9-5 over the weekend to kill legislation which would have ended the bloodsport.
Sponsored by state Representative Karen Carter, Bill 681 would have prohibited promoting or attending a fight, possessing cockfighting weapons and breeding or transporting birds for matches.
But apologists, including Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom, insist that it is all part of the state's culture and that it brings in money.
However, one survey has indicated that more than 80% of people in Louisiana are opposed to the practice - which involves fitting razor-sharp knives and gaffs to the birds' legs.
Placed in a pit to hack each other to death, even the "winner" often dies from its injuries, usually including punctured lungs and pierced eyes.