1. ITV Report

Four charged with cockfighting offences

Cockfighting investigation: Do you know these men? Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Four men have been charged with offences linked to cockfighting, as part of a joint investigation by North Yorkshire Police and the RSPCA.

Police officers from the force's rural taksforce, and the RSPCA, attended a rural location in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire in January this year, and arrested four men at the scene.

The men, aged 53, 31, 29 and 23, and from the Durham and Northumberland areas, have now been charged with various offences and will appear at Northallerton Magistrates Court on July 10th.

The charges, under Section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2008, include causing an animal fight to take place, keeping or training a cock for use in connection with an animal fight without lawful authority or reasonable excuse and being present at an animal fight

The 29-year-old man has also been charged with keeping premises for use for an animal fight, and being present at an animal fight on other occasions.

Photographs have also been released of three other men police would like to speak to in connection with the investigation. Anyone who recognises them, or has any information, is asked to ring 101, select option 2 and ask for the Rural Taskforce, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.