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A traditional cock fight is shown in Jagiroad in Gauhati, India on Friday, Jan. 18, 2008. The BC SPCA says it executed a warrant at a Surrey property were it suspected cock fighting was taking place. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Anupam Nath

VANCOUVER - The BC SPCA is investigating allegations of cock fighting at a Surrey property where it executed a search warrant Saturday morning.

Officials searched the property near 168 Street and 50 Avenue, not far from the agency's own Surrey Education and Adoption Centre.

“We did not seize any birds, but we did seize evidence from the property and are currently processing this to determine if an offence has been committed,” wrote Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer, in an email.

The society obtained the warrant under the suspicion an offence was committed under one of two sections of the criminal code that were recently expanded. Bill C-84 added more activities related to animal fighting -- such as promotional activities and training animals to fight -- as criminal offences.

“The new legislation enabled us to move forward with this warrant, which is good,” wrote Moriarty.

The first section of the criminal code involved in the warrant outlines that any person who “in any manner encourages, aids, promotes, arranges, assists at, receives money for or takes part in” bird fighting, or trains, transports or breeds birds to fight is committing an offence.

The second section states it is an offence to build, make, maintain or keep an area for animal fighting, or allow one to be established on a property the person owns or occupies.

If convicted under a summary offence, a person faces a maximum $10,000 fine and up to 18 months in prison, said Moriarty. Under an indictment or as a second offence, the incarceration time lengthens to up to five years. Individuals may also receive a lifetime ban on owning birds or animals, or living in the same premises as them.

It is too early to identify individuals or specific recommendations for charges, Moriarty said, adding the BC SPCA will provide an update if charges are recommended and approved.

With files from the Canadian Press