The Animal Welfare Board has issued emergency advisory to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to stop cockfights during Makar Sankranti.
The advisory has been issued on a complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India that despite a ban on cockfighting in the country, arenas have been set up and steroids and alcohol administered to roosters.
According to PETA, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) swiftly issued a letter to the Andhra Pradesh Animal Welfare Board and the Telangana State Animal Welfare Board to direct authorities to take appropriate actions under the law and furnish an action taken report.
Cockfighting is prohibited under Sections 11(1) (m) (ii) and (n) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
PETA India also sent letters to state police in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana urging action and offering to take in seized birds.
The Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police has issued instructions to unit officers to be vigilant against cockfighting during Makar Sankranti.
“PETA India urges anyone who learns about a cockfight to report it to the police,” says PETA India Director of Advocacy Projects Khushboo Gupta.
“PETA India has informed state police that it stands ready to find a safe home at a sanctuary for any seized roosters.”
Roosters raised for fighting are often kept in cramped cages and tormented in practice fights. Their eyes may be gouged out, their wings and legs broken, their lungs punctured, or their spinal cord severed. In fights, one or both birds may die and both are often critically injured. At these events, roosters who are fitted with blades for cockfighting have accidentally killed humans and gambling is common, PETA said.