Officials Delay Vote on Cockfighting Bill

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After hearing complaints from one bird breeder, Ventura County supervisors decided Tuesday to delay action on an ordinance that would have limited farmers to one rooster for every 15 hens as part of an effort to curtail cockfighting.

David Anderson, who lives in the unincorporated area near Fillmore, told the board that he raises hens and cocks for show purposes and that the proposed ordinance was too restrictive and would impinge on his operation.

Anderson’s wife, Michele, agreed: “If you have 15 hens, that’s too much work for one little rooster.”


Police and code enforcement officers have complained of several instances where dozens and even hundreds of cocks have been found on a single property, saying that the only purpose to have so many birds would be for cockfighting.

The Ventura County Humane Society also reported receiving dozens of complaints in the last year about gamecock operations, including cockfighting.

The proposed ordinance would have limited to four the number of cocks that can be kept on farms and other properties. More than four roosters would be allowed at the ratio of one rooster for every 15 hens.

After hearing from Anderson, the Board of Supervisors directed its staff to meet with him to try and work out a compromise and report back within the next few weeks.

“We agreed to study the matter further,” board Chairman Frank Schillo said. “I guess you could say we chickened out.”