50+ animal rights groups say dozens of cockfights are happening on a regular basis in Eastern Ky.

EASTERN KENTUCKY (CNN NEWSOURCE) — Groups Animal Wellness Action and Showing Animals Respect and Kindness say they have evidence of dozens of cockfighting operations in Kentucky — yet law enforcement does nothing.

They, along with more than 50 animal welfare groups have signed a letter to Gov. Andy Beshear, Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Public Safety Secretary Kerry Harvey to investigate.

“Their inattention to organized crime efforts that are occurring,” said Animal Wellness Action President Wayne Pacelle.

Throughout Kentucky, and specifically in a concentrated way in Eastern Kentucky, the groups say they have credible evidence of a cockfighting operation — saying cockfights are hotbeds of animal

cruelty, money laundering and drug trafficking.

“But when you understand what happens at cockfights, these are illegal gambling houses. These are gambling houses that are sometimes dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single day,” Pacelle said.

A spokesperson for Kentucky State Police says the agency investigates complaints and tips regarding illegal activity to the fullest extent. Some of the actions taken by KSP regarding cockfighting complaints include saturated patrols in an attempt to identify criminal activity, site visits to alleged cockfighting events and full case investigations resulting in criminal indictments.

“As far as saturated patrols, I have been fed that term a number of times, that’s a nothing. We know exactly where it is happening, and we are telling them sometimes days in advance often hours in advance,” said Showing Animals Respect and Kindness President Steve Hindi.

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office says it will determine its next step in the issue when the office receives the letter.

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