An investigation is underway into an illegal cockfighting operation in the Llano area of Los Angeles County east of Palmdale, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported Wednesday.
Deputies served a search warrant Jan. 27 at a property in the 23000 block of Fort Tejon Road as "part of an investigation related to animal cruelty and possession of game fowl for fighting purposes violations," according to a sheriff's statement. "During the operation, several residents of the property were detained, (and) approximately 70 cockfighting roosters were seized. Investigators are in the process of determining whether or not additional crimes are involved."
All animals were inspected and documented by Animal Care and Control officers.
"We applaud the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for (the) seizure of 70 gamecocks and for their work to end the horrific practice of cockfighting that continues to plague the state of California," said Marty Irby, speaking on behalf of the Animal Wellness Foundation and Animal Wellness Action.
"The vast majority of gamecocks bred and raised in the U.S. continue to be shipped around the globe transmitting terrible plagues such as Newcastle disease and Avian influenza," Irby said. "Cockfighting is not only inhumane, and unconscionable, but is also a breeding ground for the next major pandemic such as COVID-19. We call on the U.S. Department of Justice, and state and local officials to take swift and harsh action against those who seek to perpetuate this barbaric blood sport."
Anyone with information about the Llano case was urged to contact Sgt. Robert Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.