LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office said several people have been detained after busting a suspected cockfighting ring.
According to the sheriff’s office, they received a call on Saturday afternoon with someone telling them they heard a “large commotion, specifically a large number of roosters crowing.”
When officers arrived, they said a lot of people and vehicles were on the property. Deputies then entered an “open-air barn” and saw people “hand-to-hand wagering and observed roosters fighting.”
Police said several people tried to run away but most were detained.
Upon further investigation, the sheriff’s office said deputies found 59 dead roosters and seized 50-75 live chickens as well as “numerous implements commonly used when fighting roosters.”
The advocacy group Animal Wellness Action is offering $2,500 to anyone with tips about the incident that results in “the arrest and conviction of a perpetrator.”
“We applaud Lyon County sheriffs’ deputies for their work to raid a major cockfighting operation in progress, apprehend participants, and spare more birds the inevitable fate of being hacked to death in a fighting pit. Cockfighting is not only barbaric but also bound up with illegal gambling, narcotics trafficking, and other criminal activities. Cockfighters need to understand that when they decide to violate our anti-cruelty laws, there can be life-changing consequences.”
Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Actin
The organization said anyone with tips can contact them at [email protected].
The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have introduced legislation to cut down on these types of incidents including the Fighting Inhumane Gambling and High-Risk Trafficking (FIGHT) Act and amend the Animal Welfare Act.
The act would ban simulcasting and gambling on animal fights, halt the shipment of mature roosters (chickens only) through U.S. mail, create a citizen suit provision to allow private right of action against illegal animal fighters, and enhance forfeiture provisions to include real property for animal fighting crimes.
Reps. Mark Amodei, Dina Titus, and Susie Lee are all cosponsors of the house resolution.