The world has come a long way. Once, there were gladiators for the entertainment of the masses, now there are cockfights, bullfights, and dogfights. There has been a long and consistent history of protest against the bullfighting that is rampant in Spain, but not much is being done about the dog fights that go on in secret in most galis of Delhi.
If images of dogs being killed for the Yulin festival in China were outraging, it’s time for a closer look at India. At Delhi’s outskirts, mainly in farmhouses in Gurugram and Noida, people gather regularly to watch dogfights. These fights have moved from rural pockets of Punjab and Haryana, to urban spaces where pedigree dogs are forced to battle each other, sometimes to the death. It’s the latest pastime of Delhi’s suburban rich.
Recently, Paws for a Cause brought to light a horrific incident of abduction. Cedric, a pitbull up for adoption was forcibly removed from his foster care home, and taken away by “10 to 15 men armed with various kinds of weapons.” When the caretaker of the house refused to let them take the dog, they got abusive and violent, and “broke in forcibly and dragged poor Cedric away.”
Since dog fights and betting are both illegal, these bouts are secretly organised. It’s a wealthy network that nobody speaks about outside the circuit. Despite a few arrests, the popularity of the sport hasn’t decreased. Drugged dogs are being smuggled in via flights, and a lot of atrocities are committed, like cutting off their tails and ears, and starving them, so that the dogs win the fights through sheer rabid anger.
“India has some of the best animal protection laws in the world, but they are never implemented. Neither the police nor the government cares, and so animals like Cedric, animals who like you and me, feel pain, fear, grief, love, all the emotions that we arrogantly think only humans are capable of, continue to suffer.”
Just because an animal cannot talk does not mean it cannot feel. Senseless murder and torture of animals is a cruelty that should not be condoned by the society. We need to be more sensitive towards the lives we share the planet with. It’s time to put an end to dogfights, and save humans’ best friend.