Three men have been arrested after approximately 170 live birds were found amid evidence of suspected illegal cockfighting at a farm.
A number of dead cockerels were also discovered with their combs removed – believed to be a common practice when breeding for fighting – during the police raid in Iwade, Kent, on Monday morning.
A suspected ring, known as a cockpit, was unearthed along with cockfighting paraphernalia and veterinary drugs.
The remains of a dead horse were also found near a barn – one of “several grim discoveries”, police said.
A number of dogs were seized on the site, in Raspberry Hill Lane, several of which were believed to have been stolen. Police said efforts were now being made to re-home them with the help of the RSPCA.
In addition, about 100 wraps of a suspected Class A drug were seized and sent off for analysis.
Detective Sergeant Pat Holmes, of Kent Police, said: “Officers carrying out a drugs warrant made several grim discoveries at a farm in Iwade yesterday morning.
“While a significant haul of drugs was discovered, as well as a sizeable quantity of cash, countless dead birds were found on the site, suspected to have been involved in illegal cockfighting.
“Officers also uncovered a barn fully stocked with live birds, which at this stage are believed to have been bred for fighting.
“Kent Police will work with the RSPCA to investigate further and also determine whether dogs and other animals found on the site are stolen or have been subjected to animal cruelty.”
Two men, a 47-year-old from Teynham and a 20-year-old from Swanley, were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, proceeds of crime, possession with intent to supply and a series of theft offences.
A third, a 21-year-old man from Upchurch, was held on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug.
All three men have been bailed to April 9, pending further inquiries.
North West Hunt Saboteurs Association
Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports