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Customs officials confiscate 120 cockfighting spurs sent to Illinois

The razor-sharp metal spurs make fights more dangerous for the birds and their handlers./US Customs and Border Protection

(CNN) — Customs officers intercepted 120 cockfighting spurs sent from Mexico City to Illinois, officials say.

Customs and Border Protection officers at the Louisville Port of Entry discovered the package on January 17, according to a news release from the agency. It contained 120 cockfighting spurs, which are traditionally affixed to the natural spurs on the birds’ legs. The shipment also included two leg attachment sheaths.

The package was sent from Mexico City to Rantoul, Illinois, according to the news release. The spurs were labeled as “handcrafted Mexican artisan rattles.”

In the United States, it’s illegal to buy, sell, or deliver “sharp instruments for use in animal fighting ventures,” according to the news release.

Cockfighting itself, in which birds are placed in a pen and fight until one is either incapacitated or killed, is also banned across the country under the 2018 Farm Act. The razor-sharp metal spurs make the fights more dangerous for the birds and their handlers, who are often slashed by their own animals, according to the release.

In the news release, LaFonda Sutton-Burke, the director of field operations at Customs and Border Protection’s Chicago field office, called the interception “a great job by our officers keeping dangerous and illegal items from reaching our community.”

“This is yet another dramatic example of how dedicated CBP officers are to the CBP mission,” she said.