News : Helpline to Curb Animal Fights
Bengaluru, Karnataka Jan 15, 2015 -- Makara Sankranti, the harvest festival, is also the time when groups across the country organise animal fights.The Humane Society International (HSI) has launched a nationwide helpline to curb these illegal fights. Anyone with information about animal fights, such as those involving dogs, cocks and bulls, can call +91 7674-922044.
In Karnataka, cock fights are common in this season. Two roosters are fitted with razor blades on their legs and made to fight to death, while onlookers place bets."We get three or four calls every day from different parts of the country," says N J Jayasimha, managing director of HSI. The helpline was launched two weeks ago.
On January 13, Jayasimha conducted a training session for about 50 Department of Animal Husbandry officials at Vikasa Soudha. It was also attended by the Principal Secretary. "Bengaluru does not see too many animal fights, but the problem is serious in North Karnataka and the Karnataka-Hyderabad region. However, during Sankranti, fights spread to other cities too," he says.
Once the helpline receives information about an animal fight, it alerts the local police, the district magistrate, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, if the place has a branch. The Animal Welfare Board of India is also contacted. "We ask the callers if they would like to help because they are usually animal activists," says Jayasimha.
The HSI heard about a cockfight scheduled in Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra, for January 2. When it contacted the chief minister and local authorities, they said all they could do was raid the venue if the fight actually took place. "But the point is to prevent such cruelty, and not stop it after an animal is injured," Jayasimha explains. HSI took the matter to the Mumbai High Court, which ordered action to prevent the fight.
Over the last two years, the group has been working to eradicate animal fights. "We have trained about 3,000 policemen across the country, and constantly strive to spread awareness," says Jayasimha.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Humane Society International is the international division of The Humane Society of the United States. Founded in 1991, HSI has expanded The HSUS's activities into Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.
Published: Thursday, January 15, 2015