Uncategorized

Cock Fighting in Thailand

Frequent visitors to Thailand would be very surprised to learn that Cock Fighting is actually a very popular ‘sport’ in the country. There is documentary evidence to show that it was taking place in 1562 but it is believed to have been common for many hundreds of years before that. It is not predominantly a city based activity however and most events are held in the outer suburbs and rural areas in the country’s 70+ licensed venues. Illegal events are not unknown.

Cock Fighting was first introduced to Britain by Julius Caesar and very popular until it was made illegal by Queen Victoria in 1845. It still carries on as an illegal activity in many areas. In the USA it has gradually become against the law in each state until the last, Louisiana, banned it in 2008. In Asia however it is extremely popular in most countries and especially in the Philippines where it is almost the national ‘sport’. It is more popular than traditional sports like football อนิเมะซับไทย.

Though gambling is illegal in Thailand it still operates in a round about way at Cock Fighting events with money exchanging hands as ‘prize’ or ‘purchase’ cash. This is one of the reasons that it is a popular activity. A Cock Fight will attract a large audience and coupled with drink and food on hand it become a day out as well as a very exciting event.

Large amounts of money will exchange hands on such days. With birds exchanging hands for up to 20,000 Thai Baht a time and ticket and ‘prize’ money it is not unusual for quarter of a million Baht to be made. Fights will take place all day and birds and their trainers move from venue to venue. Birds will even be taken over borders to neighbouring countries to take part in fights. Such birds had their own passports including photo and health certificate. During the bird flu epidemic in 2004 such activities were held up as a cause and a temporary ban placed on the movement of birds. Many birds had to be slaughtered and it was an economic disaster who earned their living by fighting cocks. Prior to the bird flu there was estimated to be 30 million fighting cocks in Thailand.

Today some people make their entire living in the fighting cock market. Birds are bred, housed, trained and sold. There is even quite a lucrative market in the export of birds which is reputed to make something in the region of a million Baht annually.

Cock Fighting is only legally allowed to take place on Sundays in Thailand. There have long been efforts to try and have the law relaxed but the judiciary are holding strong. The ‘sport’ is showing a resurgence in Thailand with International events being staged and even an attempt to make the ‘sport’ more ‘humane’. In legal fights in Thailand the birds wear ‘boxing gloves’ to cover their spurs unlike other countries where the spurs are enhanced with blades.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *