Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cockfighting crackdown

Newsweek has an interesting article this week on the cruelty involved in cockfighting and its connection to criminal enterprise. Cockfighting is now illegal in all 50 states, including Florida. Just this past week, the Gainesville Sun reported on the arrest of several individuals that were allegedly participating in a large cockfighting ring near Lochloosla in southeastern Alachua County. A deputy quoted in the article described the discovery:

The deputy found at least 13 roosters at the location - one dead - and evidence the animals had been forced to fight, Faulk said.

Spurs on the back of the birds' legs had been removed and bands had been placed there with sharp edges or where razors could be inserted to be used while fighting, he said.

"The real heinous thing about this is they were altering the birds' natural form of fighting to intensify the fight for their enjoyment," Faulk said.

Roosters are naturally aggressive toward one another, but in fighting rings they are baited and thrown together, he said.

Those surrounding the fight then prevent an injured rooster from leaving, Faulk said.

"Where this goes on there's always illegal gambling," he said. "It's hard to explain why people would like this, but it's out there and people are doing it, and it's a huge form of animal cruelty."

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