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HC asks Maharashtra government to ban cockfight

The Bombay High Court has asked the state government to ban cockfights in the state and take action against those who organise such cruel practices which are prima facie illegal.

A bench of Justices S S Kemkar and M S Karnik on Wednesday asked the BJP-led government to strictly implement the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act by putting a stop to cockfights.

The bench disposed of a public interest litigation filed by N G Jayasimha, an animal lover, who had moved the high court against a cockfight held last year in a village near Ulhasnagar. The petition had said that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act should be properly implemented and the people be made aware about its provisions so that cruel practices against animals could be stopped.

It said that cockfights cause harm to the birds and hence should not be organised. It urged the court to direct the government to stop this practice.

The court had earlier stayed the Ulhasnagar cockfight event while accepting an assurance from the organisers that they would not hold the event. Two days ago, the organisers again assured the high court they would not hold a cockfight event that in future.

Accepting this statement, the court disposed of the PIL while asking the government to strictly implement the Act. A cockfight involves two roosters being placed in a small fighting ring and the incited to fight.

The roosters may be specially bred, trained or given steroids to make them more aggressive.

Usually, a razor blade or small iron hook is attached to the feet of such a rooster to increase the damage.

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