UPDATED: Summit County Animal Control euthanizes 33 roosters on state’s recommendation
Summit County Animal Control euthanized 33 roosters on Tuesday that were impounded as part of a Colorado State Patrol investigation last month.
On May 15, Colorado State Patrol requested assistance from the Summit County Animal Control to impound 33 roosters that were in the back of a vehicle that was being impounded. The roosters were being transported from Kentucky to California in homemade wooden boxes, according to a release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. District Attorney Bruce Brown said that the three men transporting the roosters haven’t been charged with any crimes, but noted the investigation is still open.
The roosters were removed from their boxes, examined by a veterinarian, documented with photos and notes, and placed in dog-size airline carriers. In all, the birds were taken care of for three weeks by volunteers and animal control staff.
Animal control considered rehoming the birds to a number of rescues, but decided against the move on recommendations from the state veterinarians office and avian experts from Colorado State University.
“In the past we have been involved with a number of cases involving game birds that are commonly used for fighting purposes,” said Dr. Keith Roehr, state veterinarian with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “Through these cases, we have established that game birds present an elevated risk for a variety of avian diseases. Some of these avian diseases can be adequately screened through testing, for some other diseases, either the testing may not be confirmatory or the pathogens can be latent only to manifest from stress or other causes of immune suppression. Because of the interstate movement of these birds into naive bird populations and the disease risks that are inherent, we recommend these birds not be placed with bird rescues or into other facilities in Colorado.”
The birds were euthanized and tested for avian diseases with the support of a veterinarian from the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services. Animal control director Lesley Hall said that the tests were sent to Colorado State University, though the results aren’t yet known.
“We wanted to have a veterinarian with avian experience to help us with this very unfortunate and sad task so that we could ensure it would be done as humanely as possible,” said Hall.
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