\"Suspected

Suspected cock-fighting ring after birds dumped in Louth

Suspected cock-fighting ring after birds dumped in Louth

\"Suspected

Suspected cock-fighting ring after birds dumped in Louth

The discovery of abandoned and injured fighting cocks in the Dundalk, co. Louth area has prompted animal cruelty inspectors to believe that there may be an illegal cock-fighting ring in the area.

There were two separate incidents where Fiona Squib, inspector for the Louth Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was called to a scene to find injured birds abandoned on the sides of roads.

According to Gerry Donaghy, chairman of the Louth Poultry Fanciers Club, the birds were in “dreadful" condition. "One had gone into molt and had been neglected. This bird got sunburn on its exposed skin," he told the Irish Examiner. He asks that people contact him at the Louth Poultry Fanciers' Club and give him the birds instead of abandoning them somewhere so that he can relocate them.
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Cock fighting, the practice of throwing two birds in a ring and letting them fight until one of them dies, usually runs its course between Easter and the end of July. Cock fighting includes breeding the birds as well. Oftentimes insulation tape will cover their natural spurs on the sides of their legs, in order to keep them sharp and dangerous before a fight. Sometimes, steel spurs can be attached to the natural spurs to make them even more lethal.

Ms. Squib reported that at one of the scenes where she  found three birds, two of them had the insulation tape, a clear sign of cock-fighting. Mr. Donaghy suspects that they were either Shamo or Anseel birds, bred in southeast Asia for the sole purpose of fighting.

At the other scene, she found a cock and a hen dumped near a road. Squib says that she fears that the birds may be used as bait to tease dogs; in that case, the birds use their talons to scratch an animal and draw blood, thus exciting the dog and drawing it closer.

Although it is illegal in Ireland, Mr. Donaghy admitted that he "wouldn’t rule out there is cock fighting going on locally...It is a possibility and the taping of spurs is such a ‘no no’."

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