Biggest cockfighting bust in New York history nets 3,000 birds
NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Nine people were arrested and some 3,000 fighting roosters and hens rescued when New York authorities busted a cockfighting ring they said was one of the biggest ever uncovered in the United States.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the arrests and said in a statement: "Cockfighting is a cruel, abusive and barbaric practice that tortures animals, endangers the health and safety of the public and is known to facilitate other crimes."
Officials simultaneously raided an apartment building in the New York City borough of Queens where 70 people were attending a fight overnight on Saturday, and also a pet shop in Brooklyn that dealt in fighting chickens as well as a 36-hectare farm in Plattekill, New York, where thousands of roosters and hens were kept and trained.
"Operation Angry Birds", named after a popular mobile game, targeted a gambling operation where people bet up to US$10,000 (S$12,703) on a single fight to see roosters, often fitted with knives, battle to the death, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).