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The HSUS Praises Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department for Cockfighting Bust

The Humane Society of the United States

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department for Tuesday's successful raid of "J.A.M. Fowl," an alleged breeding operation for fighting birds at a Santa Barbara County, Calif., property. Authorities seized 800 birds and extensive cockfighting implements.

"Cockfighting is a cruel blood sport in which birds are forced to fight, often to the death, to please cockfighters' sick sense of entertainment," said Eric Sakach, senior law enforcement specialist for The HSUS. "We are deeply appreciative of the investigative work conducted by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department's Rural Crimes Unit and the assistance by numerous agencies that worked together to shut down this alleged cockfighting breeding operation, which is well known throughout the United States and other nations."

Along with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and The HSUS, agencies participating in the raid included San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department, Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, Santa Barbara County Animal Services, Ventura County Animal Regulation and the Humane Society of Ventura County.

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. 

About Cockfighting:

  • 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.