26 birds seized in cockfighting crackdown

The roosters and hens were found inside these coops at a residence in Windsor Park, police said. - Photo: RCIPS

Police and Department of Agriculture officers seized 22 roosters and four hens during a raid at a premises in Windsor Park last week, the third operation of its kind in the past five months.

George Town Community Officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and officers from the Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Unit acted on complaints received from the public and executed a search warrant under the Animals Law on Wednesday, according to an RCIPS statement.

During the search of the address, the 26 birds were found and confiscated by the Department of Agriculture officers. They were later euthanized based on veterinary advice, police said.

A 42-year-old man at the residence was warned that he may face prosecution for animal cruelty, police said.

“From our officers’ observations, almost all of the roosters had no access to food and water, and some appeared to be suffering from recent trauma consistent with fighting ventures,” said Brian Crichlow, assistant director of the Department of Agriculture, in a statement. “Cockfighting is brutal, cruel and illegal, and is being treated as the crime that it is.”

Inspector Courtney Myles, head of the RCIPS Community Policing Department, said the operation was a priority for police “not only because of the cruel and illegal activities believed to be taking place but also because it came about in response to community complaints.”

He added, “When residents identify and share information with us about issues affecting their neighbourhoods, whatever they may be, we will always take concrete steps to address them, together with our enforcement partners.”

DoA and police officers are jointly investigating the case.

In March, a 50-year-old man was arrested in connection with an illegal cockfighting ring, after police and DoA officers found more than 40 roosters during a search of a premises in the North Sound Estates area.

Another arrest took place in June, when RCIPS and DoA staff members found 40 roosters during a search of a North Sound Road address and arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of crimes related to cockfighting.

One of these two cases is already before the court; the other is awaiting a ruling from the Department of Public Prosecutions.

Cockfighting is dealt with in Section 71 of the Animals Law, which stipulates that a person who commits an offense under that section is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500 dollars and to imprisonment for six months.

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