AN ILLEGAL cockfighting tournament staged in a purpose-built arena at an Alicante province bar has been busted by the Policia Nacional.

19 men involved in organising the event were arrested in Aspe on Thursday for animal abuse after 50 police officers raided the site.

The clandestine tournament was attended by around 150 people from across Spain and France who were there to place bets or enter birds into fights.

The Policia Nacional found out about the competition via social media postings that promoted the event and venue.

It was said to be one of the most important illegal cockfighting meetings in Spain.

A stand had been constructed to accommodate 170 seated spectators and another 30 standing onlookers.

The cockpit fight ring was fully air-conditioned and even had an electronic screen hanging over the centre.

Trophies were also on display for the three potential winning birds in the competition.

Officers searched the attendees and discovered a knife with a 20 cms blade and several doses of cocaine.

The total amount of money seized was €26,000.

Some of the attendees admitted that seriously injured roosters were euthanised- and along with those killed in fights- hidden to prevent police from finding them.

Traces of blood were discovered both in the ring and in rubbish bins in the ‘waiting area’ for the birds.

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