Vijayawada: Fighters fetch king's ransom

Buyers believe roosters in cockfights are more nutritious, taste better.

Vijayawada: There is huge demand for the roosters that were part of the cockfights that took place across the state during the three-day Sankranti festival.

These birds had been nurtured, trained and finally let loose to battle it out in the arenas like gladiators.

Their owners, and everyone who is familiar with the “sport” knows that the birds, whether they win or lose”, are no more useful for the purpose they had been bred.

On Wednesday, the third day of the festival after Bhogi and Sankranti, while people celebrated Kanuma, the birds involved breathed their last.

While the loser bird dies on the spot, the winner succumbs to its injuries in a matter of hours. Though this tragic reality is known to all, the “tradition” must continue, argue the organisers of the cockfights.

These organisers and the owners of the birds not only make money on the bets placed, but also recover their investment by selling the dead roosters.

The asking price for the birds is anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 18,000, depending on the bird. The buyers say that the meat is top quality, nutritious and tasty.

Also, traders registered good business on Wednesday as a majority of the people purchased chicken, mutton, fish and prawns to celebrate Kanuma.

P. Ramkumar and J. Raju who placed bets on cockfights in Edupugallu, Godavarru, Gandigunta, Bollapadu and other areas for the past three days said that the sharp knives tied to the legs of the roosters means that death of the birds is certain.

They said that the trainer feeds the birds almonds, cashew nuts, apricots, minced meat and other nutritious food for three months to help them gain strength and become a champion in the arena.

They said that the owners of winning bird, as an unspoken rule, lays claim on the loser bird and later auctions the dead birds.

They said that each carcass fetches at least Rs 5,000. Some of the owners slaughter the winning bird and give a treat to their family members, rather than auctioning them.

People were seen purchasing the roosters at arenas in Edupugallu, Godavarru, Nandigama, Ambapuram, Musunuru, Kotturu Tadepalli and other areas.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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