The Humane Society of the United States

Cockfighting

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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 »


News & Events

  • April 11, 2017

    Four individuals indicted, arrested on federal cockfighting charges

    A Southern District of Alabama grand jury indicted four individuals on federal charges in connection with the investigation of a major cockfighting pit in Citronelle, Alabama. The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested the suspects, three of whom are from Alabama and one from Florida. In August 2016, The Humane Society of the United States assisted the FBI with searching the Citronelle property where they uncovered a huge arena with bleacher seating, concession stands, trophies, cockfighting paraphernalia and rental holding spaces for participants’ birds with room for more than 1,000 animals.

  • August 4, 2016

    Authorities bust major cockfighting pit in Alabama

    Federal authorities took steps to shut down a cockfighting pit in Citronelle, Alabama, on Friday, after multiple undercover investigations conducted by the FBI and The Humane Society of the United States.

  • April 15, 2016

    U.S. Sentencing Commission Approves Increased Penalties for Animal Fighting

    The U.S. Sentencing Commission announced new guidelines to significantly increase the penalties for both dogfighting and cockfighting, bringing the penalties more in line with the 2014 Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act.

  • April 13, 2016

    Authorities Raid Suspected Cockfighting Operation in Wayne County, West Virginia

    An investigation prompted by an anonymous tip led local authorities to a suspected cockfighting operation in Fort Gay, West Virginia, on Tuesday.

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