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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: More than 540 roosters seized as inquiries continue into illegal cockfighting syndicate

Friday, 12 March 2021 08:09:06 AM

Organised Crime Squad detectives, together with RSPCA NSW, have seized a further 540 roosters as investigations continue into the activities of an illegal cockfighting syndicate.

Last year, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad, together with the NSW Crime Commission and RSPCA NSW, uncovered animal cruelty offences in Sydney’s south-west.

Following extensive investigations, detectives, with assistance from RSPCA NSW Inspectors, executed a search warrant at a property at Camden Valley Way at Catherine Field on Sunday 13 December 2020.

During a search of the property, officers uncovered a designated cockfighting area and several large sheds used to house 71 fighting cockerels, as well as metal spikes, spurs and other cockfighting paraphernalia.

Officers also seized $107,170 cash and several electronic devices from the premises.

The animals were seized by RSPCA NSW Inspectors, several of which were taken into veterinary care for serious injuries.

A 56-year-old man was taken into the custody of the Department of Home Affairs regarding his visa status, while 34 men were detained at the scene and later issued with a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) for promote/organise/attend animal fight.

All 34 men remain are next due to appear before Moss Vale Local Court on Thursday 1 April 2021.

Following further investigations, detectives executed a search warrant at a property at Horsley Park from 11am yesterday (Thursday 11 March 2021).

Investigators were assisted throughout the operation by RSPCA NSW Inspectors, Bass Hills Region Enforcement Squad (RES), North West Metropolitan Operations Suport Group (OSG) and PolAir.

During the searches, officers located more than 540 fighting cockerels, roosters and chickens, as well as cockfighting paraphernalia.

A crime scene was established and will be maintained at the property today (Friday 12 March 2021), as RSPCA Inspectors facilitate the safe removal of the animals.

A man was detained by police, and spoken to at the property, before being released.

Investigations by the Organised Crime Squad are continuing.

Anyone with information about animal cruelty offences is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.