Barbaric practice of cockfighting must end

Senator Annie Hoey image
23 May 2024

Senator Annie Hoey has expressed shock and outrage at reports of a resurgence of the barbaric practice of cockfighting in Ireland.

Senator Hoey said:
“Cockfighting is a barbaric and cruel bloodsport where roosters are placed in a ring and made to fight until one of them is seriously injured or killed. Illegal cockfighting is taking place across Ireland in secret matches and its abhorrent to see this happening.

“Cockfighting is a blatant act of violence that inflicts unnecessary suffering on defenseless creatures for mere entertainment and profit. Roosters are often drugged, equipped with sharp spurs, and forced to fight, often to the death.

“Despite our progress in animal welfare and this cruel practice being outlawed almost 200 years ago, this disgusting spectacle has seen a troubling revival.

“Footage obtained by Noteworthy shows horrific battles being held in backyards as well as in purpose-built cockpits, where the birds fight until they collapse. Breeders are selling birds specifically marked for cockfighting and they are marketing them purely to fight and kill other birds. This is shameful and not something that should have a resurgence in Ireland.

“We need to see this cruel practice stamped out. I’m calling for the Animal Health and Welfare Act to be strengthened and enforced. We need to get serious about animal welfare and cruelty in this country.”

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