Nearly 7,000 birds euthanized after historic LA County cockfighting bust

Remaining roosters seized in the largest cockfighting bust in U.S. history have been euthanized, official said Friday, bringing the toll to about 7,000 birds dead.

With search warrants in hand, authorities raided a Val Verde property in the Santa Clarita Valley on Monday, seizing not only the birds, but detaining 10 workers and the property owner at the 80-acre site in the 29000 block of Jackson Street.

Some roosters were already found dead at the property, but L.A. County’s Department of Animal Care and Control announced Friday that “all the birds were euthanized because of public health concerns and their aggressive nature,” according to a statement.

They put the animals down to prevent the spread of diseases such as Avian Flu or Exotic Newscastle’s Disease, which officials said could not only affect humans but also the poultry industry.

RELATED STORY: What LA County authorities found in largest cockfighting bust in US history

Officials noted that in 2003, when Exotic Newcastle Disease was found in fighting roosters transported into California from Mexico, thousands of chickens in the state were euthanized to prevent effects on the poultry industry.

The seizure — which involved the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (SPCALA) and the Humane Society of the United States and Pasadena Humane Society — also found 13 dogs and one cat.

Those seized animals are available for adoption on a first-come, first-served basis at the Castaic Animal Care Center at 31044 N. Charlie Canyon RD. Castaic, CA 91384, and some of them may be at the Valencia Nissan adoption event on Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 24111 Creekside Road, Valencia, CA 91355. Breeds available include German shepherd, Belgian malinois, pomeranian, Labrador retriever, Queensland heeler and more.

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