Valencian vet mutilated over 4400 roosters for cockfighting purposes

by Lorraine Williamson

Agents of the Guardia Civil have arrested a 59-year-old vet in Valencia for mutilating nearly 4,500 roosters for illegal fights. The agents discovered more than 100 documents containing 4,445 “Spanish fighter type” roosters.  

The man was arrested as the suspected perpetrator of false documentation and for serious animal cruelty. The proceedings have been transferred to Valencia’s Environment and Planning Prosecutor’s Office. 

The vet carried out this illegal mistreatment of roosters in the provinces of Alicante, Almería, Asturias, Cáceres, Cadiz, Cantabria, Castellón, Granada, Huelva, Madrid, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Pontevedra, Seville, Toledo, Valencia and Zaragoza. In some of these, he was not present himself but forged the documents.  

The young roosters were stripped of their combs at the ages of one, three and even nine months old. Spanish law states that these practices can only be carried out within 72 hours of birth. Moreover, from the law, this mutilation may only be carried out if it is for the welfare of the males. The period after the procedure is very painful as many nerve endings are affected. 

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During a cockfight, 2 roosters are placed in an enclosed ring. Roosters are very territorial animals and do not tolerate other roosters in their territory. The animals fight each other until one of them dies. In Spain, cockfights were traditionally popular especially in Andalucia and the Canary Islands. 

Animal welfare law 

The animal welfare law drafted by Spain’s Social Rights Ministry – which has yet to come into force – will introduce a system of fines of up to €600,000 for a practice that is currently still legal in the Canary Islands and Andalucia – under certain circumstances: cockfighting. The law was approved by Spain’s Council of Ministers and parliament earlier this year. 

Also read: Animal welfare law could encourage black market


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