Guwahati: Animal rights organisation Humane Society International (HSI) Friday urged Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to take measures to stop buffaloes and birds' fight during the traditional Magh Bihu festival in the state.
In a letter to the chief minister, the Managing Director of HSI, N G Jayasimha said the illegal practice of animal fighting, be it with buffaloes or bulbuls, involved immense cruelty resulting in distress, injury and painful death of these animals.
"It is a blatant violation of Section 11(1) (m)(ii) and (n) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960," he said.
"These are nothing but gambling events at the expense of these animals and we urge the state government to take urgent action to prevent and punish the organisers," he said.
The Supreme Court has already passed an order prohibiting all animal races and fights thereby directing the Animal Welfare Board of India and the government to prevent infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering to animals.
The order also ensures that animal caretakers shall not incite any animal to fight against a human being or another animal.
Buffaloes are forced to participate in fights for a reward of Rs 10,000 or more and Ahatguri, a village in Morigaon district, is a place which is popular for buffalo fights.
Bulbuls or "songbirds" as they are known, protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, are reportedly captured from the wild by villagers who then train them by intoxicating their food with marijuana and starve the bird a night before the fight.