Posted on: February 16, 2022, 08:39h.
Last updated on: February 16, 2022, 12:04h.
Dallas police have broken up a cockfighting ring in the city, seizing more than 100 weak and injured roosters.
Police received a 911 call on February 12, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Texas. The call reported that around 200 people were actively gambling on cockfights on a property in the Rylie area of Dallas.
Responders found 133 roosters and hens on the property. The birds were kept in wire cages or tethered to a post by strings on their legs. The SPCA, which was called in to help remove the birds, said dead roosters were found throughout the property.
“Many of the roosters appeared to be lethargic and severely injured with multiple wounds,” the SPCA said. “Other birds were found already deceased, having succumbed to injuries from fighting.”
Slashers and Gaffs
At the back of the property was a large shed that housed a plywood ring or pit, where the fights likely took place. Cockfighting paraphernalia was also discovered, including “gaffs.”
Also known as “slashers,” these are hooked razors attached to the talons of the birds as they fight to the death. Sometimes roosters are injected with steroids to increase their fighting aggression potential.
In Texas, it is a felony to cause birds to fight one another and to use the property for the purposes of cockfighting. That comes with a possible two years in a state jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Meanwhile, it is a Class A misdemeanor to possess, manufacture, or sell cockfighting paraphernalia, or to train a rooster with the intent to use it for fighting. It is a Class C misdemeanor to be a spectator at a cockfight.
The case is being handled by Dallas Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Unit, which is yet to announce any charges.
Incident Not Isolated
While illegal cockfighting more commonly occurs in rural areas of the United States, there have been several recent incidents in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex area, according to The Dallas Morning News.
In April 2021, authorities rescued nearly 300 birds from a large-scale cockfighting ring in the city of Grand Prairie, Dallas County. Police said the operation was worth $500,000.
In August 2019, police seized around 200 roosters in Balch Springs, in the southeast corner of Dallas. A year earlier, 48 roosters were seized from another operation based in Balch Springs.
Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 US states but is culturally accepted and legal in much of South America. In the Philippines, it is considered the national sport, and “the World Slasher Cup” is a popular annual televised event.
The Philippine government recently began taxing and regulating online cockfight betting, locally known as “e-sabong.”