COCKEYED CONSPIRATORS: The Sheriff’s Department raided a cockfighting operation on a Lompoc Ranch and found about 150 birds, mostly roosters in fighting trim. Their natural spurs were cut down to accommodate blades and other weaponry, and their combs and wattles were cut off to prevent opponents from grabbing them, according to sheriff’s information officer Sergeant Erik Raney. Deputies also discovered injectable liquids used to increase muscle mass and coordination and sparring muffs to protect the birds during training. An S.B. County Animal Services spokesperson said that most of the roosters will remain on the ranch as the investigation continues; he could not say what will become of them. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, unconfined roosters and hens seldom fight at all, much less to the death. Cockfighting is a misdemeanor in California.
Originally published 12:00 p.m., May 25, 2006
Updated 3:34 p.m., June 16, 2006
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