A diet of almond, cashews and minced meat, healthy exercise, and occasional injections of muscle-building hormones and antibiotics — this is what it takes to nurture a badass rooster.
Cockfights, a common and age-old 'sport' looked forward to during the Hindu new year festival of Sankranti in South India, has been in the midst of several controversies over the years. From the legal no-nos such as the Gaming Act, to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the police in Andhra Pradesh, especially in areas such as Krishna, Guntur, West and East Godavari districts has been clamping down hard on this bloodthirsty practice..
But according to a report in The Times of India, the traditional game has been thriving 'underground' in Andhra Pradesh each year. And with respect to the roosters, they are the centre of all the attention and meticulous 'care' -- to make sure that they are at their bloodthirstiest best.
So how do these poultry men and punters make create bloodlust among these impassive species? Here's how it is done:
As mentioned earlier, these roosters are raised on a nutritious diet of almonds, cashews and minced mutton, along with a dose of muscle-building hormones and antibiotics. Their dinner ironically consists of boiled eggs, dry fruit and cereals.
A veterinarian or a poultry specialist is appointed to look after the roosters 24x7, to make sure that they put on the ideal weight -- around four to five kilos. But their ultimate weapon is their limbs -- to which a sharp knife is tied, so that their blows become lethal.
According to the TOI report, such a ferocious rooster is sold for about Rs 4 lakhs -- but if he wins, the owner allegedly makes 'crores' of rupees.
Traditionally, the cocks are categorised in the following categories:
- Dega (eagle)
- Kaaki (crow)
- Pearl (peacock)
- Nemali (peacock)
But this year, the cruel sport might not see the light of the day at all.
The Hindu reports that the police are keeping a tight vigil in the areas with most offenders and asking the villagers to celebrate Sankrani with joy and happiness instead of a bloody sport. Director General of Police JV Ramudu said, "Cases will be booked against those accused under the AP Gaming Act, 1974, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1986 and other relevant Sections."
"...If the local police fail to control cockfights, action will be taken against Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs), Circle Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors concerned," he added.
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