The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service announced on Thursday that officers arrested a man on March 21 in connection with an illegal cockfighting ring.

According to the RCIPS, police carried out a search in the North Sound Estate area with the assistance of Department of Agriculture officials, and found more than 40 roosters. The roosters had various injuries, which a veterinary officer determined to be caused by acts of cruelty by the owner, the RCIPS stated.

Officers conducted further searches and found a large quantity of artificial spurs, along with prohibited biomedical drugs and other implements, which were seized, police stated. Officers also reportedly recovered more than 40 other chickens of varying ages.

“Due to the types of injuries the roosters had sustained, and the artificial spurs and implements that were found on the property, officers had cause to suspect the birds had been used for cockfighting,” the RCIPS stated.

The property’s owner, a 50-year-old Bodden Town man, was arrested on suspicion of cruelty to an animal.

“Activities such as cockfighting are not only illegal, but also subject animals to inhumane conditions and cruelty,” said Adrian Estwick, director of the Department of Agriculture. “We are committed to combatting such activities while partnering with other agencies such as the RCIPS, and encourage the public not to support these activities either.”

The search was conducted by community police officers, the RCIPS added.

“While we are excited to have community officers interacting with the public and providing a positive face for the organization, that is just one aspect of what they do. Enforcement of crime is the other side of the coin,” RCIPS Superintendent Robert Graham said. “Offenses such as cockfighting and other illegal gambling often lead to other, more serious crimes, such as robbery and even murder.”

Police also seized this collection of artificial spurs that are used for cockfighting.

He added, “One of the major goals of the Community Policing Department is to put a stop to these kinds of activities before they have a chance to take root and escalate. As such, our community officers will continue to proactively target all forms of illegal gambling.”