Meet the ‘fighter’ cocks of India

New Delhi: If you thought that only Bull fights are dangerous, think again as the ‘fighter’ cocks of Andhra Pradesh will give you a run for money.

‘Cockfight’ is a widely popular sport in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and people spend nearly Rs 200 crore in betting at the fights every year.

West and East Godavari, Krishna and Guntur are the hub of the cockfight ‘industry’ in the state and witness over 500 cockfight organizers organizing cockfights during the Sankranti festival.

The birds are trained on a daily basis and specialists are hired to tie two-inch knife on the bird’s limbs to chop off the rival bird in the fight.

The birds are fed with a highly nutritious diet composing of pulses, dry-fruits, kheema and boiled eggs, and are injected with hormones to make them more ferocious for the fights.

The cocks are categorized as Dega (eagle), Kaaki (crow), Pearl and Nemali (peacock) and are rated based on how they are trained.

PETA has long opposed this bloody sport and the apex court in May 2014 passed a landmark judgment directing the state governments and Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to take steps to “prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on the animals.”

This year too, the Supreme Court and the High Court have directed police to take steps to prevent cockfights in the state.

Special teams have been deployed and people found guilty of organizing the sport or colluding with organizers are being booked under AP Gamin Act 1974, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and other relevant sections.

News24 Bureau