GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace and several other federal lawmakers are calling on the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to crackdown against illegal animal fighting shipments that continue to be uncovered by Animal Wellness Action in their ongoing investigations.

A letter has been signed by a bipartisan group made up of three dozen congress members calling for more attention to the matter.

Cockfighting has been in legislation going back to 2002 making it illegal to practice and associate with.

According to AWA investigations, live roosters are being shipped from the U.S. to Guam, and other countries.

“We traced those records back to the specific locations, the cockfighting investigations; then we went to Google Earth and did an overview of the area to where these people lived," said Marty Irby, Executive Director for Animal Wellness Action. "You can see many of the cockfighting birds there, a-frame huts that they have been them living in and tethered to a stake with a chain.”

Irby says further details revealed many of the people involved in cockfighting have openly bragging about it on social media.

We asked how many live roosters have been mailed from South Carolina. However, that information wasn't readily available.

But, back in March, Spartanburg County deputies responded to a cockfighting derby on Glen Drive - according to James Nelson, Director of Environmental Enforcement. 30 individuals have been charged in this case.

His staff has busted two cockfighting rings this year.

The first was small and there still active warrants as the individuals were from out of the county.

In Laurens County, back in July, officials say multiple people were charged after 356 chickens were found in a believed to be cockfighting ring.

With this renewed push on animal safety, we're told the health repercussions could be serious if the matter isn't addressed.

“It’s about human health and safety because these birds can transmit Avian Influenza and Newcastle disease to flocks all over the United States when they’re being shipped," Irby said.

Copyright 2021 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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