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Published 7th September 2018, 2:59pm

The Department of Agriculture (DoA), in partnership with the Royal Cayman Islands Police (RCIPS) and HM Customs, has been actively engaged in investigating cockfighting complaints and urges the public to continue to report this illegal activity.

The DoA stresses to the public that cockfighting or its management, on any premises used, or monies associated with such activity are punishable by Law as advised under Section 71 of the Animal Law (2015 Revision).

According to the DoA, cockfighting is an age-old sport in other countries but it is illegal in the Cayman Islands. Large metal spurs or grafts are attached to the legs of roosters and then they are placed in a designated area and made to fight each other until death or serious injury is inflicted. If the bird survives it usually suffers serious injuries to the eyes, lungs, and other parts of the body.

“As Minister, I support the endeavor of the DoA to raise awareness of the illegality of this activity. In addition to causing cruelty to animals, cockfighting is often linked to other crimes, such as illegal gambling, robbery, drug activity or worse,” Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Minister for Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture, and Lands, “it saddens me to know children are often present at these events and exposure to such violence can desensitise them to other’s pain and decrease their sense of empathy; an invaluable life trait for success.”

The DoA is gravely concerned about this type of illegal activity and all incidences are being dealt with a zero-tolerance approach. These events are not only risky for the animals since the organised fights often include transactions of large sums of monies by both owners and spectators, there is an increased potential for violent confrontations.

To date, large numbers of specifically-bred cockfighting birds have been seized and persons involved have been arrested and are subject to prosecution.

It is the DoA’s responsibility to manage this emerging act of cruelty and the public is asked to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities noticed.

Reports can be made to:

911

Cayman Crime Stoppers Tip Line Now: 800-TIPS (8477)

DoA Animal Welfare Officer at 947-3090

RCIPS at 949-4222