Police in India Detain Fighting Rooster for Slashing Owner to Death

Posted on: March 3, 2021, 05:46h. 

Last updated on: March 3, 2021, 08:20h.

Police in southern India’s Telangana state have taken into custody a fighting rooster suspected of killing its owner during a daring escape attempt.

Cockfighting gone wrong in India’s Telangana, as rooster is taken into custody after slashing his owner to death during an escape attempt. (Image: Getty)

According to the New India Express, the unfortunate man was preparing the bird for a bout of cockfighting in the village of Lothunur, when it made a sudden break for freedom. As its owner attempted to catch and subdue the animal, he was stabbed in the groin by a three-inch razor attached to its talons. He died on the way to the hospital from loss of blood.

The rooster has not been charged with a crime, but it is being kept in custody in case it needs to be produced as evidence in court. Police say they are seeking 15 people on possible charges of illegal gambling and manslaughter for their participation in the cockfighting ring.

Cockfighting was made illegal in India in 1960. But according to the BBC, it remains relatively common in rural areas in Telangana, as well as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Odisha states. It is especially common around the Hindu festival of Sankranti, which occurs in January to mark the Winter Solstice, when the blood sport takes on a carnival-like atmosphere.

Last year a man in Andhra Pradesh was killed during Sankranti after he was stabbed in the neck by his cockerel.

Cockfighting ‘Part of Our Lives’

Cockfighting bouts involve spectators placing bets while birds fight to the death with hooked razors, known in English as “gaffs” or “slashers,” attached to their talons. Sometimes, the birds are injected with steroids to increase their fighting potential.

While cockfighting is denounced by animal rights groups and outlawed in most countries, it is accepted in many cultures and is an important tradition for some.   

“Cockfighting has been around for thousands of years. Back in the days, there used to be cockfights between kingdoms. It’s a part of our lives,” Raghurama Krishna Raju, a political leader who has campaigned to legalize the practice in Andhra Pradesh, told VICE World News this week

“For many people, rearing birds for fights is their only source of income. It’s a great sport, but the knives do add the element of cruelty. Without knives, it should be an acceptable sport,” he claimed.

World Slasher Cup

Cockfighting is perhaps most popular of all in the Philippines, where the industry is worth over US$1 billion per year, according to the Philippine Games and Amusement Board.

The country is also home to the annual World Slasher Cup, known as the Olympics of Cockfighting, although it has been canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Philippine government recently moved to license and regulate “e-sabong,” the thriving online cockfighting betting industry.