It is apparent from Felix Burciago’s Facebook page that he likes boxing, restoring old cars, and cockfighting. One of those activities is illegal, and he was arrested for it last Saturday Afternoon.
Cockfighting, gamecock fighting or rooster fighting is an activity that involves raising or breeding roosters for strength and aggressiveness, outfitting them with sharp blades attached to their legs, sometimes given steroids to increase their energy and aggression, and put into a ring to fight another bird until death, or at least badly wounded. It has been widely recognized as cruel and inhumane treatment of animals, at least in the United States, and is illegal. In most, but not all states it is a felony. But it is still a popular and legal activity in many other countries, especially in some Latin America and Asian countries.
There are even movements in the US to make it legal, and many supporters like to claim that the country’s founding fathers even enjoyed the sport, as is shown in the poster Buciago posted on his Facebook page (left). Politifact and others, however, have disputed their involvement, or at least their enthusiasm for cockfighting. It was going on back then, and there are mentions of it in some documents related to Washington, Jefferson, etc. And of course, it is still going on today, though under the shadow of illegality.
According to the Stanislaus Sheriff’s Department, they received a report of an active cockfight going on in rural southwest Modesto, in the Riverdale Park area, near the Tuolumne River. Deputies responded to the home on Poland Road at 3:40 Saturday afternoon, January 24. They found resident Felix Buciago had a cockfighting ring set up, along with 50 roosters in cages, and three dead roosters, apparent losers of earlier fights.
While Animal Control officers took custody of the roosters, deputies arrested 42-year-old Burciago on charges of animal cruelty, keeping fighting animals or birds, and possession of implements for rooster or game cock fighting. Being a spectator at a cockfight is also illegal, but the crowd that had been reported earlier had left by then. Since his release pending court, Burciago already posted the founding fathers poster image to his Facebook page, with the words “Maybe i can president one day?”