The Hyderabad High Court on Monday banned cockfight and all the activities associated with it. The court clearly directed the politicians not to endorse these inhuman activities with their active participation during the Sankranti season. This inhuman practice is common in Andhra Pradesh, especially in the four districts of East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur.
A division bench of the Hyderabad HC directed the Andhra Pradesh government to constitute Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) under the 2001 Rules prescribed in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960 in all the 13 districts and in any event not later than January 31, 2017.
The division bench comprising of Justice A Shankar Narayana and Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan passed this order in petitions against cockfights in Krishna and Godavari district during Sankranti. Petitioners asked the government to implement provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; to prevent the anti-social elements from organising cockfights and the AP Gaming Act, 1974.
The bench also directed all the district collectors, particularly East and West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur to constitute joint inspection teams for each mandal in their respective districts. The joint team consisting of SI of police, tahsildar, a representative of either the Animal Welfare Board of India or from an NGO working for the cause of animals or persons involved in the prevention of cruelty to animals, by Jan 7 next year.
The inspection teams, SPs, collectors and the commissioners will take immediate action to ensure that the playgrounds are not used for cockfights. The court ruled that the inspection team can enter any premises to seize cocks and roosters. They can also seize the related instruments used for cockfights. They can also seize the money for betting. The HC bench ordered the collectors and the SPs of the four districts to submit their individual reports to prevent cockfights and betting by January 31.