Local News in Brief : Crackdown Sought on Cockfights

A Los Angeles city board voted Tuesday to seek a change in state law that would give animal control officials the authority to destroy confiscated fighting cocks.

The Board of Animal Regulation Commissioners voted unanimously to send a city representative to Sacramento to lobby for five changes in the law that would increase the penalties for cockfight promoters.

One amendment would deem fighting cocks “contraband,” which would allow city officials to humanely destroy them, Department of Animal Regulation spokesman Dyer Huston said.

The board also wants to ban the razor-sharp spurs that are strapped to the cocks’ claws to help them slice up other birds, Huston said.


City officials have confiscated more than 1,000 fighting cocks in the last two years and the city has spent about $25,000 to hold the birds during court cases against fight organizers, he said.

“We have to hold and hold and hold them until the case is adjudicated,” Huston said.

Another change sought by the board would force bird owners who are convicted to reimburse the city for the costs of holding and feeding the animals.