Cockfighting Operation Busted By New Texas Law

The Humane Society of the United States supplied key information that led to the raid of an alleged cockfighting breeding facility in Santa Fe, TX by a multi-agency effort on the part of the Galveston Police Department, University of Texas Police Department, Galveston County Sheriff's Department, Santa Fe Police Department, Galveston County Precinct 4 Constable's Office and RAIDER Officers from Harris County Precinct 6. Local law enforcement, acting on information from an undercover investigation by The HSUS, found cockfighting paraphernalia on the scene as well as a cockfighting pit. Image from the Human Society of the United States
A new Texas law helped police in Galveston bust an illegal cockfighting operation. It allows authorities to arrest and charge people who are suspected of owning or breeding fighting roosters.

Cockfighting was already illegal in Texas, but earlier this year lawmakers added provisions to make it illegal to breed roosters
for fighting or even to watch a cockfight.

John Goodwin is the director of Animal Cruelty Policy at the Humane Society of the United States. He says Galveston Police busted an alleged breeding facility in Santa Fe, about 30 miles southeast of Houston.

"This particular individual had been running ads in underground cockfighting magazines, selling birds for many, many years. We took that information to the local authorities and went along on a raid where we found a large number of roosters, a location on the property where we think they were raising the birds to fight, as well as the knives that they tie to the legs of the birds to increase the bloodletting in the fights."

The man who was arrested, Jimmy Lee Bradshaw, is charged with two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of
cockfighting.

Goodwin says this is the first time the owning or breeding provision of the law has been invoked.

"This is a tremendous signal to the cockfighters that, first, a good strong law has been enacted by the legislature. And second, it's going to be enforced. Cockfighting is widespread in Texas and we want the people involved in this animal cruelty crime to be on notice that we are aggressively coming after them."

Goodwin says last weekend in Fort Worth a man was arrested for watching a cockfight, another new provision of the law.

cockfighting
Image from: The Humane Society of the United States

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Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...