The Humane Society of the United States


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In a cockfight, two roosters fight each other to the death while people place bets. Cockfighters let the birds suffer untreated injuries or throw the birds away like trash afterwards. Besides being cruel, cockfighting often goes hand in hand with gambling, drug dealing, illegal gun sales and murder.

  • Cockfighting is illegal in every state in the U.S. and a felony in 40 states. Alex Gallardo/For The HSUS

Left to themselves, roosters rarely hurt each other badly. In cockfights, on the other hand, the birds often wear razor-sharp blades on their legs and incur injuries like punctured lungs, broken bones and pierced eyes—when they even survive.

Sadly, some people bring children to cockfights, which can teach kids to enjoy violence and think that animal suffering is okay.

Cockfighting happens in many kinds of neighborhoods and all around the country. It is a felony in only 40 states, which means that many states need to toughen up their laws. Get the facts on cockfighting »

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