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November 24, 2009

Kansas Cockfighting Busts

Following up a new law with enforcement

The Humane Society of the United States

by Ariana Huemer

In a one-two punch against cockfighting in Kansas, The HSUS helped officials in the second raid of a cockfighting operation in as many weeks.

The two raids are believed to be the first since Kansas passed its felony cockfighting law earlier in 2009.

Raids Across the State

In the latest raid in Sherman County on Nov. 24, sheriff's deputies arrested two people and impounded 150 to 200 birds.

Deputies also found cockfighting implements, steroids, antibiotics, and cockfighting magazines on the property.

The Sherman County raid comes one week to the day after a cockfighting raid on the opposite end of the state in Douglas County. There, law enforcement officials arrested two people and seized more than 170 alleged fighting birds.

In fact, the latest raid in Sherman County raid was spurred in part by the success of the Douglas County raid. After watching the successful takedown of the Douglas County operation, Sherman County law enforcement officials reached out to The HSUS for assistance with their cockfighting investigation and raid. 

Words into Action

In April 2009, the Kansas legislature enacted H.B. 2060, which made cockfighting a class 10 felony. These latest raids show the power of putting words into action.

"These two successive raids demonstrate that HSUS not only pushes for the enforcement of stronger animal protecion laws; we make sure the laws are enforced," said John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for The HSUS. "Cockfighters need to know their crimes will not go unpunished in Kansas."

In the days before Thanksgiving, the powerful combination of tough laws and tough enforcement has given hundreds of alleged former fighting fowl in Kansas something to be thankful for.

Ariana Huemer is cruelty case manager for The Humane Society of the United States.

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