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Probation granted in bird fighting case

You don’t hear much about the scourge of finch fighting, or canary brawls.

But apparently, just like dogfighting, they exist.

A Connecticut judge has granted probation to 15 of 19 men arrested in connection with a bird-fighting operation in Shelton, Conn, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities arrested the Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey residents, all natives of Brazil, after a July 26 raid at a Shelton home that led to the seizure of 150 birds, mostly saffron finches and canaries.

Here’s a CNN story from back when they were arrested.

The judge agreed to drop charges of cruelty to animals and illegal gambling if the men stay out of trouble during a one-year probation period.

The homeowner, 42-year-old Jurames Goulart is due in court Thursday. Three other men’s cases are pending. The birds are now at animal sanctuaries.


Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time October 1, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Quite some time ago, shortly after Molly’s death but years before we got Spencer, we decided that a bird might be an appropriate pet for our growing family. I was intrigued by attractive pairs of strawberry finches I’d seen in several shops that dealt in birds and fish. I had a business associate who was a bird enthusiast, and I asked him if finches would be a good fit. He warned me off. His statement was that they were prone to combat by nature (he referred to them as “wife beaters”) even in their family units and suggested this could be distressing to the kids, who were young. His suggestion was a parakeet or cockatiel, and we spent many happy years with our cockatiel, Hacker.

I guess if you’re going to run animals in fights because you enjoy seeing them suffer, your choice of species is pretty wide. You could do fish (Bettas or “Siamese Fighting Fish”), various small and territorial birds, or domestic chickens. You could also goad massive bulls into a frenzy of pain so they attack you (or fight each other as was once done in parts of Asia). Or, of course, you could brutalize dogs. And we shouldn’t forget that using dogs to brutalize assorted other animals (bulls, bears) has a long and dishonorable history as well.

I can’t blame the finches or the roosters or the canaries for fighting, since it’s the way Nature made them. But do we really have to run their fights for them so we can watch their pain?