Cockfighting In Thailand: Standard Pastime & Large Enterprise

Cockfighting In Thailand: Standard Pastime & Large Enterprise

Profitable & old Thai tradition of cockfighting with high combating birds price as much as three million baht & playing bets as massive as 22 million baht.


Cockfighting in Thailand: Standard pastime & big enterprise

AFP News company

The cry of roosters drowns out the roar of engines beneath a Bangkok flyover as all eyes are trained on sparring birds, a bloody, high stakes battle in a rustic the place cockfighting is massive business.


For the few dozen men surrounding a technically illegal however tolerated underpass cockfighting ring, cockfighting is as a lot a generations-old Thai tradition as it's commerce...

"It's a option to preserve ancient Thai culture and move it on to our kids," says one 50-yr-old.

The official government view helps cockfighting as part of Thai culture.

"We have had cockfighting since historical occasions, for more than 700 years," mentioned Pitsanu Prapatananun from the Interior Ministry, which encourages raising the birds in local communities as a form of "further income".

Cockfighting is sort of always accompanied by profitable gambling.

"We do not think it's violence as it's a sort of sport," mentioned an everyday punter Suwan Cheunchom, 35, after winning 500 baht on a round which led to a tie...

...A number of weeks later the identical stadium raked in 22.2 million baht for a report breaking bet...

While they danger up to years in jail for playing at an unregistered ring, authorities routinely turn a blind eye to such activities.

Thailand is dotted with a lot larger, official cockfighting stadiums that draw vast, big-spending crowds.

On the Bangkok Cockpit in Samut Prakan province, a 1,000-robust crowd cheers on a pair of avian fighters whose necks are locked in fight as bets furiously exchange hands.

The birds do not often struggle to the demise, as in many parts of the world, but they'll nonetheless inflict deadly injury to their opponent.

Not like within the Philippines, where roosters may be seen fighting with blades connected to their ft [with fights usually ending in death], Thailand's birds normally compete with laga ayam their spurs wrapped in fabric.

The cocks are judged on their combating prowess reasonably than their means to kill, with proponents holding that such protections mean "there should not many injuries".

Champion birds attract a cult following like "muay thai" kickboxers, with total magazines dedicated to the bloodsport.

On this profitable industry "good fighting birds" can sell for more than three million baht, with Thailand exporting cocks to neighbouring nations equivalent to Malaysia and Indonesia and patrons arriving from as far afield as France and Bahrain.

But some Thais are fighting for an end to the practice of cockfighting in a country where the concept of animal welfare is slowly emerging...

Late last yr Thailand introduced its first-ever animal welfare law after years of campaigning by animal rights activists.

This new legislation bans "torture and cruelty towards animals" but exempts activities deemed a part of the Thailand's traditions resembling bull fighting and cockfighting.

Back on the ring, males suck out blood pooled within the necks of their fowls in between bouts in order that the birds feel refreshed and better.

The longer the hen can combat, the stronger and more valuable he'll be.