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May 23, 2012

Humane Society International Commends Costa Rican Authorities for Recent Crackdown on Cock Fighting

Humane Society International

  • Unlike what transpires at organized fights, roosters rarely ever sustain critical injuries over the course of territorial encounters. iStockphoto

Humane Society International congratulates the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal, the Costa Rican animal health service, as well as law enforcement authorities for the latest in a recent series of successful raids that have targeted clandestine animal fighting rings across the country. While illegal in Costa Rica, both dog fighting and cockfighting are still a common fixture and sometimes occur at the same venue. This latest raid, which occurred on Sunday, resulted in more than 200 birds and fighting paraphernalia being seized and a sanitary closing order being issued for the demolition of the raided locale.

“We are pleased to see the resolute efforts on the part of the Costa Rican authorities to crack down on the widespread practice of animal fighting throughout the country,” said Cynthia Dent, regional director for HSI/Latin America. “Appealing to tradition to defend these gory spectacles, where animals are forced to fight each other, often to the death, is simply unconscionable and unbecoming for a country such as Costa Rica.”   

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. Under normal conditions, roosters rarely ever hurt each other badly during the course of a territorial confrontation. In cockfights, however, the birds are often made to wear razor-sharp blades on their legs that can cause critical injuries such as punctured lungs, broken bones, pierced eyes and multiple lacerations to their skin.

People often bring young children to animal fights. Seeing adults relish such brutality can teach children to enjoy violence while sending the dangerous message that animal suffering is acceptable. In addition to being cruel, animal fighting often goes hand in hand with gambling, drug dealing, illegal gun sales and murder.

Both of these facts were made blatantly obvious with Sunday’s raid, at which 24 minors were present, and that ultimately resulted in several arrests – including that of an individual wanted for murder—and the confiscation of unregistered weapons and illegally sold liquor.   

Alan Sánchez, director of the Central Metropolitan Region of SENASA, said, “We are committed to continuing to fight this illegal and cruel activity and dealing with the animals in the most humane way possible.”


Media Contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras: 301-721-6440; rcontreras@humanesociety.org

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations—backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—On the Web at hsi.org.

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