SC declines to stay ban on cockfights

Cockfights in Andhra Pradesh, a part of Sankranti festivities, continue to remain banned as the Supreme Court today declined to give an urgent hearing into the matter. The Animal Welfare Board (AWB) moved the apex court to direct the AP State Government to strictly implement its order on banning cockfights.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had upheld the Hyderabad High Court’s order prohibiting cockfights and refused to stay the ban on the sport. It may be mentioned here that the High Court on December 26 last year had upheld the ban on cockfight and directed the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to ensure no cockfights take place during the Sankranti festival. Cockfighting is a popular sport in the rural areas where the birds fight with each other with blades tied to their feet.

While a member of National Animal Protection Committee has complained to the Supreme Court that despite the State High Court prohibited the cockfights, the people’s representatives in the coastal districts made all preparations to organize cockfighting, counsel for the organizers contended that organizing cockfights is an age-old culture in the coastal districts on the occasion of Sankranthi festival. He further argued that it is a basic instinct of cocks to fight with other when come face to face. The advocate also submitted to the Apex Court that there would be no animal violence as they would not tie knives to their legs. Hearing both sides, the Supreme Court observed that it cannot give immediate orders to stay the ban granted by the High Court and adjourned the case. (NSS)