Charges laid after illegal cockfighting syndicate dismantled in Catherine Field

Organised Crime Squad detectives have laid charges after dismantling an illegal cockfighting syndicate in Catherine Field.

Police seized 71 fighting cockerels at the property, following a joint investigation with RSPCA NSW.

State Crime Command's Organised Crime Squad detectives, together with the NSW Crime Commission and RSPCA NSW, uncovered the animal cruelty offences last year.

Police say detectives executed a search warrant at a property on Camden Valley Way, Catherine Field on Sunday, December 13, 2020, following extensive inquiries.

Detectives were assisted throughout the operation by RSPCA NSW Inspectors, Bass Hill Region Enforcement Squad (RES), South West Metropolitan Operations Support Group (OSG), the Dog Unit and PolAir.

Officers say they uncovered a designated cockfighting area and several large sheds used to house 71 fighting cockerels, as well as metal spikes, spurs and other cockfighting paraphernalia during a search of the property.

Police say they also seized $107,170 cash and several electronic devices from the premises.

The animals were seized by RSPCA NSW Inspectors, several of which were taken into veterinary care for serious injuries.

Thirty-five men were detained at the property and spoken to by police.

A 56-year-old man was taken into the custody of the Department of Home Affairs regarding his visa status.

Two men - aged 28 and 35 - were charged with unrelated matters and remain before the courts.

Organised Crime Squad detectives will issue 34 men - aged between 19 and 77 - with a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) for promote/organise/attend animal fight following further investigations.

Police say a 45-year-old Catherine Field man will also be charged with a second offence of manage/control place used for animal fighting.

Eight of the men will also be charged with a second offence of having in custody spur-like appliance designed for fighting.

All 34 men are due to appear at Picton Local Court on Tuesday, February 23 2021.

Inquiries by Organised Crime Squad detectives are continuing.

Anyone with information about animal cruelty offences is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.