Cock fighting network uncovered by USPCA

Cockfighting, a practice that has been illegal for almost 200 years, is still going on, BBC Newsline has discovered.

The birds are armed with metal spurs which can inflict horrific injuries on their opponents The birds are armed with metal spurs which can inflict horrific injuries on their opponents

The fights take place regularly at clandestine venues known only to a network of individuals who gather to watch birds fight, sometimes to death.

For months now BBC Newsline has had exclusive access to an Ulster Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigation.

Men were filmed setting birds on each other in bloody contests.

At one site last weekend, about 60 people, some of them children, were gathered around a makeshift ring in County Monaghan about five miles from Middletown in County Armagh.

On another occasion, both birds seemed to survive. In another earlier encounter one of the birds was lifted, apparently lifeless, from the ring.

Men were filmed setting birds on each other

These big events in the cockfighting world are known as derbies.

On St Patrick's Day this year, another meeting took place just south of the border.

Cars, vans and hatchbacks transported the birds in cages where they are penned before being agitated to fight.

Again birds died in the ring. Again children were there. A young boy was pictured taking care of one of the birds that survived.

More Northern Ireland stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • People take part in an egg-cracking contest in the village of Mokrin, 120km (75 miles) north of Belgrade, Serbia on 20 April 2014In pictures

    Images from around the world as Christians mark Easter Sunday


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.