The Humane Society of the United States has released video from an undercover investigation that shows what appear to be uniformed law enforcement officers at Kentucky cockfights.
The Humane Society says the video was shot on two investigations; one was in January 2009, the other February 2010. It takes place at the Laurel Creek Game Club cockfighting pit in Manchester, KY in Clay County.
The video shows knives strapped to the legs of birds who fight until the death and children are seen playing with injured birds. The video also shows what appears to be a uniformed Kentucky State Police trooper and another person in uniform, identified by the Humane Society as the constable, at the fight.
John Goodwin, manager of Animal Fighting Issues for the Humane Society of the United States, tells us a winner can walk away with as much as tens of thousands of dollars. He also estimates hundreds of thousands of dollars change hand each night in the 15 major cockfighting pits in Kentucky.
"I hope that every legislator that has taken a hard line position on other forms of gambling will be consistent and also take a hard line position on cockfighting because it exists only for two reasons: bloodlust and gambling," said Goodwin.
Lt. David Jude, a Kentucky State Police spokesperson, said the agency is conducting an internal investigation and that it is their job to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth.
However, Goodwin says KSP in the past has said that the laws on cockfighting in Kentucky are ambiguous when it refers to fights of "four legged animals." Jude would not comment on that after the release of the video.
There is a bill in the Kentucky House of representatives that would make cockfighting a felony, clarify the language to include all animals, and penalize spectators.