Spurred by an anonymous tip, Belgian police broke up a Limburg cockfighting ring in Wellen on Sunday, confiscating six roosters.
Belgian police did not specify how many people were present or their identities. However, they did draw up a report for violation of Belgium’s gambling legislation, Belga News Agency reports. Cockfighting was outlawed in Belgium nearly a century ago, in 1927.
While not common in Europe, illegal cockfighting operations do exist. Two years ago, Belgian police raided a Limburg farm near the town of Hoeselt, seizing 28 roosters. Participants fleeing the scene on foot abandoned between 15 and 20 cars, police reported at the time.
Three years ago, Spanish police in the southeastern region of Murcia broke up an illegal cockfighting ring, arresting 138 people and seizing 97 roosters, according to news reports.
Police described the six roosters recovered on Sunday as being unscathed and were brought to an animal shelter. Roosters seized from cockfighting rings have not fared so well in the past. The roosters from the cockfighting farm in Hoeselt were euthanized after police captured them, outraging animal rights group GAIA.