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December 15, 2011

The HSUS Assists Galveston Law Enforcement in Raid of Alleged Cockfighting Breeding Facility

Raid marks first use of new Texas law to prosecute those who breed roosters with intent to fight them

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The Humane Society of the United States supplied key information that led to the raid of an alleged cockfighting breeding facility in Santa Fe, Texas by a multi-agency effort on the part of the Galveston Police Department, University of Texas Police Department, Galveston County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Fe Police Department, Galveston County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office and RAIDER Officers from Harris County Precinct 6. Local law enforcement, acting on information from an undercover investigation by The HSUS, found cockfighting paraphernalia on the scene as well as a cockfighting pit.

Jimmy Lee Bradshaw was arrested and charged with two counts of felony cockfighting and one count of misdemeanor cockfighting. The two felony charges are punishable by up to two years in state jail and the misdemeanor cockfighting by up to one year in county jail. The HSUS worked to pass HB 1043 during the last legislative session to make it illegal under state law to breed roosters with the intent to fight and participate as a spectator at a cockfight.

“Galveston authorities have sent a strong message that the new cockfighting law will be enforced vigorously,” said Nicole Paquette, Texas senior state director for The HSUS. “We are grateful to Sheriff Freddie Poor, Constable Jimmy Fullen, Chief Kenneth Campbell, Chief Henry Porretto and Lt. Joel Caldwell for strictly implementing this new law.”

Cockfighting is a cruel activity involving the deliberate pitting of animals against each other to fight to the death for the sole purpose of gambling and the entertainment of spectators. Roosters used for fighting are often drugged to heighten their aggression and forced to keep fighting even after they’ve suffered severe injuries such as deep gashes, punctured lungs, and pierced eyes.

"We are happy to be enforcing the new cockfighting law,” said Lt. Joel Caldwell with the Galveston Police Department. “Let anyone involved in this crime be on notice, Galveston will not be a refuge for this abhorrent form of animal cruelty.”

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. Anyone with information about animal fighting criminals is asked to call 877-TIP-HSUS (847-4787). Tipsters' identities will be protected.   

Facts
• Cockfighting is outlawed in all 50 states and is punished as a felony in 39.
• House Bill 1043 made the following activities a crime:

1. participating in the earnings of a cockfight (a state jail felony);
2. using or permitting another to use property for cockfighting (a class A misdemeanor);
3. manufacturing, buying, selling, possessing cockfighting equipment (a class A misdemeanor);
4. owning, possessing or training a cock with the intent that it be used for cockfighting (class A misdemeanor); or
5. attending as a spectator an exhibition of cockfighting (class C misdemeanor for first offense and class A misdemeanor for future offenses) 

Email the media contact below to obtain photos of the rescue.

Media Contact: Katie Jarl – 713-516-7892, kjarl@humanesociety.org

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