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January 8, 2016

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court Accepts Government Action Plan to Prevent Cockfights

Humane Society International/India

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With the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana reiterating the prohibition on cockfighting, animal welfare groups are calling for a swift implementation of the court’s orders to ensure that no animal is harmed for the sake of entertainment. In a press conference jointly hosted by Animal Welfare Board of India, Humane Society International/India, and People for Animals, Hyderabad, animal welfare advocates have recommended the state governments take necessary action in preventing the cockfights.

In cockfighting, two roosters are often fitted with razor-sharp blades on their legs and made to fight each other to the death while people place bets. The practice is popular in rural coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, especially during the harvest festival of Sankranti.

N.G Jayasimha, managing director of HSI/India, said: “We are delighted that the state has submitted to the High Court that it will take several actions to prevent cockfights. Cockfighting is pronounced illegal even by the Supreme Court of India and no one should be granted an exception to this law. We urge the state authorities to act collectively and ensure that the ban on cockfighting is implemented in letter and spirit and that the organizers and general public refrain from entertaining this illegal activity.”

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HSI/India is working to ensure that people who conduct this illegal and cruel practice of animal fighting, anywhere in India, are prosecuted. In the past year, HSI/India has been successful in stopping illegal cockfights in Odisha and Maharashtra. To combat the menace of animal fighting in India, HSI/India has also launched its national animal fighting  tip-line number 07674922044 that can be used to anonymously report incidents of animal fighting organized in any part of the country.

Facts:

  • The Hon’ble High Court of Bombay prohibited animal fighting in 1996 by upholding the Sections 11(1) (m) (ii) and (n) in a People for Animals vs State of Goa case.
  • On May 7th, 2014, the Hon’ble Supreme Court passed an order prohibiting all animal races and fights, thereby directing the Animal Welfare Board of India and the government to prevent infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering to animals and ensure that no animals are incited to fight against a human being or another animal.
  • In May 2014, the High Court of Madras in the S. Kannan vs Commissioner of Police case declined permission to a cockfighting event in a temple festival and suggested the prohibition of cockfights in the state of Tamil Nadu.
  • In December 2014, following a petition filed against cockfighting, the Bombay High Court reiterated the ban on cockfighting in the State of Maharashtra
  • Following HSI/India’s intervention, the State Government of Assam directed the Deputy Commissioners of all districts and the Commissioner of Guwahati to ensure that no animal fight events are organized, especially buffalo fights and bulbul fights
  • In 2015, after HSI/India’s intervention, the Hon’ble Supreme Court  ruled against a petition to lift the ban on cockfighting in Andhra Prades

Media Contact: Navamita Mukherjee, nmukherjee@hsi.org

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