Following a raid Saturday morning at a property in the 16600 block of 50th Avenue in Surrey, SPCA officials confirm they have seized evidence indicating it may be the scene of a cockfighting ring.
“At the property we did remove evidence, which our investigators are reviewing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to support charges,” said BC SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty.
Under newly expanded sections of the Criminal Code of Canada that target animal fighting, anyone involved potentially faces charges, and up to five years in jail.
Cockfighting is often live-streamed and linked to gambling.
“If members of the public have information to provide with respect to any associated criminal activity, we encourage them to contact the Surrey RCMP, or Crime Stoppers,” Surrey RCMP told Global News.
The brutal blood sport involves roosters fighting each other to their death.
It’s illegal in Canada, and in 2008 five B.C. men faced animal cruelty charges after the SPCA raided a Cloverdale property.
“You’d like to think it’s a small issue in B.C.,” said Moriarty when asked about the possibility of multiple cockfighting rings in the Vancouver area.
“But because of the underground nature of this, I don’t think I can say it’s isolated or part of a larger scheme.”
At Saturday’s raid, officers did not seize any birds, but that could happen in the future, if the evidence processed leads to charges.