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143 birds euthanized after cockfighting bust in California

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities broke up a large cockfighting event over the weekend and were forced to euthanize nearly 150 birds found at a Southern California home, animal control and sheriff’s department officials said.

Deputies responding late Friday discovered about 200 people at the residence in Jurupa Valley along with “evidence of an illegal cockfighting event and multiple deceased or severely injured birds,” the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

An additional 143 birds were found in cages throughout the property about 50 miles (80 km) east of Los Angeles, the release said.

Officers with the county’s Department of Animal Services arrived, gathered all the birds “and humanely euthanized them, a process that lasted until about 6 a.m.,” according to a statement.

“The birds must be euthanized because Animal Services cannot adopt out such birds as they are valuable and they would almost always end up back in a cockfighting ring. They are not suitable as pets,” the statement said.

An unidentified man who said he owned the birds was cited for possession of fighting blades used in cockfighting, a misdemeanor, officials said.

The investigation is ongoing. Animal Services said it was likely to ask the District Attorney’s office to file felony animal cruelty charges.

Article Topic Follows: AP California

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