Police lay charges after illegal cockfighting syndicate dismantled and 71 chickens seized

Organised Crime Squad detectives have laid charges after dismantling an illegal cockfighting syndicate and seizing 71 fighting cockerels, following a joint investigation with RSPCA NSW.

Last year, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad, together with the NSW Crime Commission and RSPCA NSW, uncovered animal cruelty offences in Sydney’s south-west.

Following extensive investigations, detectives executed a search warrant at a property at Camden Valley Way at Catherine Field, from 11am on Sunday 13 December 2020.

Detectives were assisted throughout the operation by RSPCA NSW Inspectors, Bass Hill Region Enforcement Squad (RES), South West Metropolitan Operations Support Group (OSG), the Dog Unit and PolAir.

During a search of the property, officers uncovered a designated cockfighting area and several large sheds used to house 71 fighting cockerels, as well as metal spikes, spurs and other cockfighting paraphernalia.

Officers also seized $107,170 cash and several electronic devices from the premises.

The animals were seized by RSPCA NSW Inspectors, several of which were taken into veterinary care for serious injuries.

Thirty-five men were detained at the property and spoken to by police.

A 56-year-old man was taken into the custody of the Department of Home Affairs regarding his visa status.

Two men – aged 28 and 35 – were charged with unrelated matters and remain before the courts.

Following further investigations, Organised Crime Squad detectives will issue 34 men – aged between 19 and 77 – with a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) for promote/organise/attend animal fight.

A 45-year-old Catherine Field man will also be charged with a second offence of manage/control place which is used for animal fighting.

Eight of the men will also charged with a second offence of have in custody spur like applicance designed for fighting.

All 34 men are due to appear at Picton Local Court on Tuesday 23 February 2021.

Inquiries by Organised Crime Squad detectives are continuing.

Anyone with information about animal cruelty offences is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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