LANCASTER – Approximately 100 “fighting trim” roosters were seized Wednesday when authorities raided an alleged cockfighting operation at a farm in Lancaster.
The bust happened around 10 a.m. Wednesday at a farm in the 47100 Block of Division Street, and it was conducted by deputies from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Bureau and the County’s Department of Animal Care and Control, according to deputy Robert Ferrell of the COPS Bureau.
“This place was the subject of a search warrant in the past for narcotics. This is a known criminal location,” Ferrell said.
The COPS Bureau received a call that cockfighting at the location, and after a month-long investigation they were able to obtain a search warrant, Ferrell said.
The two-acre property housed horses, pigs, goats, and other typical farm animals, but hidden from public view were approximately 200 birds and a fighting area, Ferrell said.
“Most appear to be in fighting condition or fighting trim…” Ferrell said. “This appears to be both a fighting and a breeding operation.”
Deputies also found difference pieces of evidence, including literature and writings, to support that the farm may be a front for an illegal cockfighting operation, Ferrell said.
“They did not appear to be involved in the operation,” Ferrell said, adding that deputies were working to determine who was responsible for the operation.
“If that person can be identified, then we’ll definitely make an arrest,” he said.
Wednesday afternoon, the team was waiting on a court order to remove the birds from the scene. Animal control officers would also be taking care of the other farm animals at the location, Ferrell said.
“The other animals appear to be cared for, they seem to be housed in an appropriate manner, but animal control will make sure that they’re properly cared for,” Ferrell added.
To report cockfighting, call Los Angeles County’s dogfighting/cockfighting tip-line at 1-877-NO2FITE. Tipsters with information leading to the arrest or conviction of someone involved in animal fighting are eligible for a $5,000 reward.