Cock Fighting in Thailand

Cock Fighting is a popular sport in Thailand, which would surprise frequent visitors. Although there is evidence that Cock Fighting was first practiced in Thailand in 1562, it has been documented as being a popular sport for hundreds of years. However, it is not a primarily city-based activity. Most events are held in rural areas and the suburbs of the country’s 70+ licensed venues. Illegal activities are not uncommon.

Julius Caesar introduced to Britain in the first place. It was very popular until Queen Victoria made it illegal in 1845. It is still illegal in many places. It has been banned in the USA since 2008, when it was made illegal in all 50 states. It is very popular in Asia, especially in the Philippines, where it is almost the national sport. It is much more popular than traditional sports such as football.

Although gambling is illegal in Thailand, it continues to be legalized at Cock Fighting events. Money exchanged hands for ‘prize’ and ‘purchase’ cash. This is why it is so popular. Cockfights will draw large crowds and, when accompanied with food and drink, it can be a great day out.

On such days, large amounts of money can be exchanged. It is not uncommon for a quarter of a billion Baht to be exchanged with birds. Birds and trainers will move around the venue, engaging in fights all day. Birds can even be brought over borders to neighboring countries in order to participate in fights. These birds were issued their own passports with a photo and a health certificate. These activities were cited as a reason for the 2004 bird flu epidemic, and there was a temporary ban on birds moving around. It was a financial disaster for those who made their living fighting cocks and many birds had to die. There were 30 million fighting birds in Thailand before the bird flu.

Some people today make their living from the fighting cock market. Birds are raised, housed and trained, then sold. The export of birds is an extremely lucrative business that is estimated to bring in around a million Baht per year.

Cockfighting is not legal in Thailand. It can only be done on Sundays. Although there have been attempts to relax the law for a while, the judiciary is still strong. International events are being held in Thailand to promote the sport. There is even an effort to make it more humane. The birds in Thailand use ‘boxing gloves to cover their spurs, unlike other countries that have blades.

Read More