Cockfighting ring busted; 107 birds euthanized

Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 08:38:06-05
A second cockfighting ring in a week has been busted.
This time 107 birds were euthanized on the site of a Wimauma home. Some people living nearby say they don't see a problem with roosters fighting to the death for entertainment.
"It's a sport,” said one neighbor, who wouldn’t give his name.
Deputies responded to reports of a gunshot Tuesday at the home on Ruth Morris Road. When they walked to the back of the property they found a chicken coop equipped for training and fighting roosters.
"Some of the birds were dead on the ring, others were alive in cages," said Larry McKinnon, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman. "A lot of people come from countries where this is accepted. We know in Puerto Rico it's legal there."
When fighting, the roosters have razor sharp spurs attached to their feet. Several spurs, a scale and other items were found on the property.
The facilities also pose a health risk. Feces covered the cages and ring, which can carry diseases like E. coli, salmonella and bird flu.
"Of course rain water comes off, and now it's in our water system or into our streets where our kids play," McKinnon said.
McKinnon hopes education can help curb the crime.
"You may come from other countries where it is legal, but here it is illegal, and we'll certainly make an arrest if we catch you," he said.