March 17, 2009
The HSUS Praises La. State Police for Cockfighting Raid
First Known Bust Since Cockfighting Ban Took Effect in August 2008
LAKE CHARLES, La. — The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Louisiana State Police for Saturday's successful raid of the "Little Bayou Club," an alleged cockfighting operation in Sulphur, La. Authorities seized 635 birds as well as cockfighting implements. This raid marks the first time that Louisiana's law banning cockfighting has been implemented.
"Cockfighting is a cruel and barbaric practice, and there can be no doubt that every cockfighting enthusiast knows that it's a crime to participate in these staged fights," said Julia Breaux, Louisiana state director for The HSUS. "We are glad to know that Louisiana's cockfighting law is being enforced and are grateful to the Louisiana State Police for cracking down on this form of animal cruelty."
The majority of cars present at the cockfighting derby had license plates from neighboring states, which indicates that cockfighting enthusiasts from other states were drawn to Louisiana for the lower penalties they would face for cockfighting.
Along with the Louisiana State Police, agencies assisting with Saturday's raid included The Humane Society of the United States, Calcasieu Parish Department of Animal Services, Calcasieu Parish Department of Public Works and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.
The HSUS offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting.
- Tens of thousands of people are involved in cockfighting nationwide.
- Common cockfighting practices include breeding birds for viciousness, drugging them to heighten aggression and fitting their legs with razor-sharp knives or gaffs, which resemble curved ice picks.
- Law enforcement raids across the country have revealed that cockfights, which are frequently attended by children, often involve firearms and other weapons due to the large amounts of cash present for gambling.
- Law enforcement officials have documented a strong connection between cockfighting and the distribution of illegal drugs.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — on the Web at humanesociety.org.