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Chicken Kills Man With Blade During Cockfight

Photo of a rooster by Unsplash

A man was killed after being slashed by blade tied to a rooster in a cockfight in India, police said on Thursday.

The incident draws attention to the controversial practice, which continues in the country on a large scale despite a ban.

The victim, Saripalli Venkateswara Rao, 53, was holding the rooster at a death-match in the village of Pragadavaram last week when it tried to regain its freedom, lashing out at its owner.

“Rao made efforts to hold on, but he got deep stab injuries from a small sharp knife attached to the rooster’s leg, which also slashed his main thigh vein, causing him to bleed profusely,” police officer M Snehita told DPA by phone Thursday.

“He died on way to the hospital. Doctors said the incident shocked the man, causing a heart attack,” she added.

The incident took place on January 15, but reports emerged in Indian media only later, causing regional police to intensify a crackdown on such events.

“It’s a tragic incident, but ironic that the rooster bred to kill its opponent fowl and bring a bounty instead killed its owner. … The rooster has escaped, we couldn’t trace it,” police officer P Rajesh said.

Even though India’s Supreme Court has put a ban on organizing or inciting animal fights, tens of millions of rupees exchange hands as cockfights continue in several of India’s southern regions particularly during Makar Sankranti, a Hindu harvest festival, celebrated in mid-January.

It is also alleged that the patronage by local politicians and large sums of money means that police and law enforcement agencies look the other way, animal rights activists complain.

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