The RSPCA is investigating after a blind, injured cockerel was found dumped on a country lane.
The bird was spotted wandering in Colney Heath Lane, St Albans by a member of the public on Monday, 29 February who raised the alarm.
It is though that the cockerel, who has been named Levi Rooster, may have been used by cockfighters as he had injuries consistent with fighting.
Inspector Jaime Godfrey said: “It looks like he has been blinded from having his eyes pecked. His chest and the front of his legs are raw and sore and the top of his wings are injured, likely from being rubbed on a cage. The injuries are indicative of cockfighting.”
Inspector Mike Butcher, a member of the RSPCA’s special operations unit which tackles blood sports like cockfighting, added: “This cockerel’s spur had been cut off, this was probably to fit a metal spur so it could inflict maximum damage to the opponent’s bird during a cockfight.
“We suspect this bird was probably involved in an organised fight and was injured in the barbaric ‘sport’ of cockfighting which continues despite being made illegal in 1835.”
The cockerel was taken to a vet who believes he will regain sight in his eyes once his inflamed facial injuries subside. Levi is now being cared for by the RSPCA.
Inspector Godfrey added: “I suspect he has been dumped on this remote country lane, fortunately a member of the public found him and saved him from being run over.
“I would like to hear from anyone who knows how he ended up on the road, or there is a chance he may have been stolen from someone so I would like to hear from anyone who may have owned him.”
Anyone with information can contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).