The Utah County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man Tuesday after he was allegedly found with hundreds of baby chickens and cockfighting tools at a home in Orem.
The police went to the home with a warrant to investigate drug activity and cockfighting, according to the probable cause statement. The suspect was reportedly found in a bedroom in the basement with hundreds of baby chickens and sharpened spurs that are attached to roosters during cockfights. Police said there were thousands of chickens on the property, some of which had their spurs cut in a way that would allow the blades to be attached to the animals.
The suspect also allegedly had a fake ID and Social Security number. He told police he got them from a friend.
Speaking about the bust, Marty Irby, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based Animal Wellness Action, said in a statement on Thursday that cockfighting isn’t just animal abuse, it is also a public safety hazard.
“Cockfighting is not only inhumane and unconscionable, but it’s also a health and human safety threat, given the role of cockfighting in spreading Newcastle Disease and Avian Influenza,” reads the statement.
The statement says the blood and feathers from fights could potentially spread diseases.