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The Dallas Police Department sends word this evening: The Humane Society of the United States shot some undercover video of what sounds like a mammoth cockfighting operation in Southeast Dallas -- where, the release says, "cruel cockfights were reportedly occurring in a large run-down structure on a regular basis." As a result DPD "swarmed" the location today, arrested a few of those involved, released most of those in attendance, and seized about 100 roosters.
Says John Goodwin, manager of Animal Fighting Issues at the Humane Society, "Today we found scores of roosters who had been brought to fight to the death with knives tied to their legs. Many birds injured in the fights were simply thrown in a pile and left to slowly die. We commend the Dallas Police Department for their quick and efficient action to shut down this cockfighting pit."
Engaging in the act of cockfighting is a felony in Texas, punishable by anywhere from 180 days to 10 years in state jail and a $10,000 fine, depending on how many times a person's been caught in the act. But, notes the release:
Texas is one of only six states where it's legal to attend a cockfight, to possess birds for the purpose of cockfighting, and to possess cockfighting weapons. However, many of the people at the cockfight were released without charge because Texas animal cruelty laws do not prohibit attending cockfights, despite the fact that spectators fuel this activity with their admission fees and gambling dollars. The HSUS is supporting efforts to strengthen the cockfighting law in Texas to prohibit attending cockfights or possessing birds for the purposes of fighting them which will close this glaring loophole in existing law.