Victory! Following PETA India Appeal, Unauthorised Buffalo Fight Stopped in Morigaon

Posted on by Shreya Manocha

Following an appeal from PETA India to the director general of police, Assam, and district administration and superintendent of police in Morigaon, an unauthorised buffalo fighting event scheduled to take place on 17 April in Katahjari Pathar village, Mayong subdivision, Morigaon district, was prevented.

Following PETA India’s interlocutory application and multiple affidavits bringing on record the conduct of illegal buffalo fights, the Gauhati High Court passed orders, dated 6 February and 4 March, directing the strict enforcement of the Standard Operating Procedure dated 27 December 2023 vide No HMA-19032(11)/51/2017/Pol(A)-H&P/138 (ECF-28983) issued by the Assam state government regarding the conduct of buffalo fights and bulbul bird fights, restricting all buffalo fights in the state after 25 January 2024. In its appeal, PETA India pointed out that the scheduled buffalo fight was in violation of directions of the Hon’ble Guahati High Court and therefore must be prevented from taking place.

In February, following complaints from PETA India, two first information reports (FIR) were registered by Raha police and Nagaon Sadar police in response to heinous acts of cruelty to buffaloes during unauthorised buffalo fights held in Raha Koroiguri and Kasomari in the Nagaon district of Assam and uploaded onto YouTube. The FIRs were registered against the organisers, participants, and animal owners for facilitating and conducting the buffalo fights, causing immense cruelty to buffaloes by beating them and causing one’s horn to break, and putting human lives in danger of grievous harm from the agitated buffaloes.


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In its writ petitions with the Gauhati High Court, PETA India makes the case for the cruel spectacles of buffalo and bulbul fighting being prohibited once again, citing numerous violations of central law in the conduct of these events. As evidence, PETA India submitted investigations into these fights, which reveal that terrified and severely injured buffaloes were beaten to force them to fight and that bulbuls were kept hungry to force them to fight for food.

An investigation into a buffalo fight held in Ahatguri in the Morigaon district of Assam on 16 January revealed that to instigate buffaloes to fight, owners slapped, pushed, and shoved them; jabbed and struck them with wooden sticks; and pulled them by their nose ropes to force them to approach one another. When fights were underway, some owners and handlers jabbed the buffaloes with sticks and whacked them with bare hands to cause them further distress. The buffaloes locked horns and fought, sustaining bloody wounds to their necks, ears, faces, and foreheads – many had injuries all over their body. The fights lasted until one of the two buffaloes broke away and fled.


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An investigation conducted into a bulbul bird fight held in Hajo in Assam on 15 January revealed that red-vented bulbuls – who are protected under Schedule II of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 – were illegally captured and incited, against their natural instincts, to fight over food. It is reported that the birds are captured several days before the fight. Capturing protected wild birds is considered a form of hunting and is illegal.

The birds are reportedly commonly drugged with marijuana and fed other intoxicating herbs, bananas, black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon to agitate them, after which they’re starved for at least one night before the fight. During the fight, a piece of banana is dangled in front of the hungry birds, inciting them to attack each other. Each fight lasted approximately five to 10 minutes, and handlers forced exhausted birds to continue fighting by repeatedly blowing air on them.

PETA India’s writ petitions to the High Court point out that the buffalo and bulbul fights violate the Constitution of India; The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; and judgements of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, including in Animal Welfare Board of India vs A Nagaraja. Such fights are inherently cruel, cause immeasurable pain and suffering to the animals forced to participate, and contradict the tenets of ahimsa (non-violence) and compassion, which are integral to Indian culture and tradition. Allowing these events to continue is a regressive step which threatens to undo almost a decade of progress in human and animal rights.

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