Cockfighting ring busted

By Jessica Micallef

Nearly 200 birds have been removed from a suspected cockfighting operation on a Malmsbury property.

RSPCA Victoria inspectors, Macedon Ranges and Brimbank council officers and Victoria Police searched the Malmsbury property on February 12.

Inspectors discovered 75 roosters – all allegedly groomed for cockfighting – and a further 119 birds including chicks, mature hens and juvenile roosters. All birds were removed from the property.

Cockfighting implements were also removed.

According to the RSPCA, the property owner is currently eight years into a 10 year ban for being in charge of poultry, resulting from a prior prosecution.

RSPCA Victoria inspectorate team leader Karen Collier said the successful removal of birds was achievable because of the joint efforts of the four organisations.

“Those involved in this investigation were pleased with the outcome, it is a shocking reality that cockfighting, a barbaric activity, continues to operate in Victoria,” she said.

Macedon Ranges council’s assets and operations director Shane Walden said council officers played a key role in sourcing information that resulted in the search.

“Council takes a zero tolerance approach to animal fighting and works closely with the RSPCA and Victoria Police to stamp out any identified cruelty to animals.”

Cockfighting and possessing equipment designed for cockfighting is illegal in Australia.