Two bulbuls, tied with a rope, are put up in a fight against each other
In a letter addressed to the Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi, Humane Society International/India (HSI) urged the government of Assam to stop the illegal practices of buffalo fighting and bulbul fighting usually practised during the Bihu festival. The event this year is scheduled to take place between January 14 and 16, 2015 in various districts of Assam, including Sivsagar, Nagaon, Morigaon and Kamrup. Hundreds of buffaloes are forced to participate in fights for a reward of Rs 10,000 or more. Ahatguri, a village in the Morigaon district of Assam, which is popular for its buffalo fights has been organising these tournaments since 1972 for entertainment purposes. These brutal tournaments usually end in severe injuries or death of the animals. Managing Director of HSI/India N.G. Jayasimha, and member of the Animal Welfare Board of India said, “The illegal practice of animal fighting, be it with buffaloes or bulbuls, involves immense cruelty that ultimately results in distress, injury and painful death of most of these animals. It is a blatant violation of Section 11(1) (m)(ii) and (n) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.These are nothing but gambling events at the expense of the lives of these animals and we urge the State Government to take an urgent action to prevent and punish the organisers to set an example for any such future events”.Bulbuls or “songbirds”, protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, are reportedly captured from the wild by villagers who then train the birds by intoxicating them with marijuana. The birds are then starved a night before the fight.The Supreme Court of India has already 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. The order also ensures that animal caretakers shall not incite any animal to fight against a human being or another animal.HSI/India is working to ensure that people who conduct this illegal and cruel practice of animal fighting are prosecuted everywhere in India. They have recently been successful in stopping illegal cockfights in many parts of India, including Odisha and Maharashtra.
With inputs from Humane Society International/IndiaAlso Read: India’s ban on animal exports hits Nepal’s Gadhimai festival