San Bernardino County DA launches campaign to curb cockfighting

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The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has prosecuted more than three dozen cockfighting cases in the past year. Now it’s launched a multimedia campaign to curb the bloodsport – and show in stark detail the impact it has on animals and local communities.

The six-minute video shows gruesome footage of cockfights obtained by the Humane Society of the United States. In one clip, a pair of thrashing roosters outfitted with razor sharp knives on their legs, called “gaffs,” cut and ram one another while handlers and spectators cheer them on.

Fontana Animal Control officer Jamie Simmons also appears, at the scene of a clandestine cockfighting operation in that city shortly after the facility was raided by authorities.

“Like I said, right now we don’t have an owner," Simmons says. "That’s not uncommon. But at least we can save these roosters from a horrible, horrible death.”

County District Attorney Mike Ramos says the illegal bloodsport carries a host of other crimes under its wings. “It’s not just the crime of cockfighting, but you also have as a part of that the infiltration of gangs, illegal drug activity that’s part of cockfighting culture, prostitution. Crime, serious crime.”

The video also highlights a reward of up to $5,000 offered by the Humane Society for information leading to the arrest and conviction of cockfighters. The county’s multimedia campaign launches just as roosters are done molting and the blood sport’s season typically gets underway in California.

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