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December 26, 2016

Victory! Hyderabad High Court upholds ban on cockfighting

Humane Society International/India

  • Ban on cockfighting stayed, Alokparna Sengupta, HSI/India

The High Court at Hyderabad has issued an order today upholding the ban on cockfighting and directed the state governments to ensure no cockfighting takes place during Sankranti hereinafter.

In a hearing prior to the final arguments, the court suo moto amended the original petition extending the prohibition on cockfights wholly and not just during the period of Sankranti of 2017.

N G Jayasimha, member, Animal Welfare Board of India, and managing director of Humane Society International/India said, “We are delighted that the Hyderabad High Court has upheld the ban on cockfighting. Cockfighting is not only cruel to animals but also encourages gambling and child labour. A practice that glorifies so many illegal activities should have no place in a civilized society.”

Gauri Maulekhi, government affairs liaison for HSI/India, the implead petitioner in this matter stated, “We have largely ignored the social and economic repercussions of cockfighting. From betting on lives of animals to child labour and sale of illicit liquor, the ominous practise of cockfighting leaves every opportunity open to exploit humans and animals alike. We expect the state to strictly follow the orders and ensure that people responsible for organizing cockfighting are booked under the law. We encourage the public who witness any cockfight during the Sankranti or any other season to report the incident at their nearest police station or by calling the HSI/India tip line number at +917674922044.” 

Facts:

1.      In cockfighting, two roosters often are fitted with razor-sharp blades on their legs and made to fight each other to the death while people place bets.

2.      Sections 11(1) (m) (ii) and (n) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act makes inciting and organizing animal fights an offence.

3.      A petition filed in 2014 in the High Court at Hyderabad sought directions from the Government of Andhra Pradesh (AP) to prevent cockfights. The court upheld the prohibition.

4.      In January 2015, a politician from Andhra Pradesh filed a Special Leave Petition against the order of the High Court. The Supreme Court ordered a status quo and remanded the matter to the High Court.

5.      In January 2016, the Government of Andhra Pradesh filed an affidavit on steps proposed to be taken for preventing cockfights. However, cockfights were conducted with fervour across the state of AP and even in Telangana.

Media Contact: Navamita Mukherjee, email: nmukherjee@hsi.org, mobile: 91-9985472760

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