BROOKSVILLE | An investigation into alleged cockfighting led to the arrest of more than half a dozen people in Bracken County.
According to Bracken County Sheriff Howard Niemeier, Kentucky State Police made arrests on April 20 at a location on Mattox Road.
Arrested in connection with the fighting and charged with cruelty to animals were Chester Browning, Kevin R. Colemire, William T. Morris, Harry Sparks, Jennifer Tackett, William Tuel, Wayne Weeks and Corey K. Ward.
KSP Trooper Ryan Roessler is investigating the incident.
All eight are scheduled for hearings in Bracken County District Court May 21, with the exception of Jennifer Tackett who is scheduled for a July hearing.
In a ring called a cockpit, cockfights are fought by two roosters also known as gamecocks.
References to the fights go back to the 1600s and beyond.
In some cases, gamecocks are specially bred for stamina and strength.
Cocks are naturally aggression toward all males of the same species.
Cockfighting is also considered a blood sport by animal welfare and animal rights activists. All fights are not to the death, but usually inflict injuries on the combatants.
In many other areas around the world, cockfighting is still practiced as a sporting event, regulated by laws, or forbidden outright.
According to officials, though cockfighting is a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky punishable with a possible 12 months in prison and a $500 fine, being a spectator at a fight or possessing a fighting bird are not illegal.