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HSUS Statement in Response to Poolville, Texas Cockfighting Raid

169 arrested, 114 birds seized

POOLVILLE, Texas — John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement in response to Saturday's raid of a large cockfighting derby in Poolville, Texas:

"Cockfighting is a barbaric and inhumane practice, and today's raid sends a message to organized animal fighters that they must either obey the law or face the consequences. Perpetrators of this animal cruelty offense will be brought to justice in Texas, as well as in the other 49 states where cockfighting is a crime. We commend the Parker County Sheriff's Office, USDA Office of the Inspector General and other agencies involved for exhibiting a zero-tolerance policy for this heinous cruelty."


  • 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 of the large amounts of cash present for gambling.
  • Law enforcement officials have documented a strong connection between cockfighting and the distribution of illegal drugs. 

Broadcast-quality video and high-resolution animal fighting images are available at humanesociety.org/news/multimedia.


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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.