Cockfighting Conviction

Published on 10 November 2023

RSPCA Victoria has successfully prosecuted a Brimbank man for animal cruelty after more than 70 roosters were found at his property groomed for cockfighting.

Brimbank City Council officers had originally discovered the roosters along with fifteen hens and a cockfighting ring at the property and reported it to RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate.

The RSPCA Inspectors’ visit to the property found the cockfighting ring designed for operating and recording cockfights, transport boxes covered in blood and faeces, and seven recently mutilated roosters.

A pile of combs1 recently cut from roosters was also found near a pair of bloodied scissors, along with the animals’ wattles2, and spurs3, all of which appeared to have been severed without veterinary treatment.

Searches of the property also found cockfighting implements, drugs, and paraphernalia such as syringes and strapping tape, and the man’s mobile phone also contained incriminating photos and videos related to cockfighting, including footage of him training roosters to fight.

Speaking about the result RSPCA Victoria Chief Inspector Michael Stagg said it was a great step in ending this brutal blood sport.

“RSPCA Victoria is committed to stamping out illegal animal fighting in our state,” Chief Inspector Stagg said.

“Cockfighting is illegal and cruel, and as seen in this case the roosters used in this blood-sport suffer horrific injuries. Sadly, this latest investigation shows these barbaric activities are still occurring.”

RSPCA Inspectors had charged the man with offences under Sections 9, 12, and 13 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTAA). The charges related to cockfighting and breaches of regulations under the Act. At the time of the charges, the man was already banned from keeping any poultry except for five hens.

The Magistrate imposed a 12-month Community Corrections Order (CCO) with a conviction, including the requirement to complete an animal cruelty program. A full banning order was also imposed, prohibiting the offender from owning any roosters for a lifetime period.

Anyone who commits an offence after 1 July 2023 under Section 9 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 can face fines of up to $48,077.50 or 12-month imprisonment. Anyone found guilty of an offence after 1 July 2023 under Sections 12AF or 13 of The Act can face fines of up to $96,155.00 or 2-year imprisonment.

Anyone with concerns about the welfare of animals to make a report to RSPCA Victoria at rspcavic.org/cruelty-report/ or on 03 9224 2222.

1Comb – Fleshy crest on the top of the head

2Wattle – Two thin, flexible flaps of skin that hang under a rooster’s beak

3Small, horn-like protrusion that grows from a chicken’s leg just above the foot

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