14th January 2020
A raid by Belgian police has uncovered a “professionally equipped” site for holding illegal cockfights on a farm in Flanders, as well as several animals bred to fight.
The remote farm, in Hoeselt in the province of Limburg, also had a secluded parking lot for the participants of the illegal gambling, according to local media.
During the raid, about 15 to 20 cars were discovered, with drivers leaving behind wooden crates – containing the fighting cocks for the illegal blood sport – as they fled the police.
A total of 28 fighting cocks – bred and trained to fight – were recovered on site. The animals were eventually euthanised, due to safety concerns.
“Normally we always look for another home for our animals, but for fighting cocks that is almost impossible,” explained Rudi Oyen of the Bird and Mammals Relief Center (VZOC) who took on the animals. “Either they cause animal suffering themselves or they have to suffer it. If fighting cocks are placed with other animals, problems will arise. That is why euthanasia is the only way out,” he added.
Animal rights organisation Gaia has demanded severe punishment against the organisers and spectators of the ring. “Although cockfighting shows up less and less, it turns out to be a difficult phenomenon to eradicate,” the organisation said in a statement. “Apparently, for some, the urge for bloody and cruel scenes is stronger than the observance of the law.”
The Brussels Times