Punishment Demanded for Cockfighting and Other Cruelty to Animals at Aurangabad Fair

For Immediate Release:
17 November 2017

Meet Ashar; [email protected]
Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

PETA Files FIR, Urges Immediate Action Against Event Organisers, Animal Owners

Aurangabad – After receiving word that roosters were forced to fight, horses were beaten into performing tricks to give a false impression that they were dancing, and sheep were made to fight with men at a recent annual fair in Harsul, Aurangabad, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) fired off a letter to the Aurangabad Commissioner of Police urging him to take immediate action. As a result, a first information report (FIR) has been registered against the event’s organiser and the animals’ owners under Section 11(1)(n) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, for a cognisable offence – whereby a police officer has the authority to make an arrest without a warrant and to start an investigation with or without the permission of a court.

“Forcing roosters to fight one another and beating horses until they stand on their hind legs is both cruel and illegal,” says PETA Emergency Response Coordinator Meet Ashar. “PETA is calling for everyone responsible for these animals’ misery to be held accountable for every crime they have committed.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – notes that the PCA Act prohibits inciting animals to fight with each other as well as beating, torturing, or subjecting horses, sheep, or other animals to unnecessary suffering. In a landmark judgment in 2014, the Supreme Court of India ruled in favour of the petitioners – PETA and the government advisory body the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) – making it clear that cockfighting, dogfighting, and any other staged fights between animals, including between humans and animals, for entertainment must end. In 2015, the court upheld the judgment of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, which banned cockfights. The PCA Act also requires that animals used in public exhibitions be registered with the AWBI, which has confirmed that the fair in Harsul did not obtain permission to exhibit animals or force them to perform.

The apparent violations at the fair are also considered offences under Sections 34, 289, 337, and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, and PETA has been informed that the police have added these offences to the FIR.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.