Cockfighting, involving two roosters fighting against each other, is a blood sport that takes place during the Pongal season. This sport is predominantly organised in East and West Godavari Districts. Apart from the Godavari areas, cockfighting has found its way into cities such as Visakhapatnam. The Visakhapatnam District Police are determined to avoid this blood sport to be organised in and around Vizag. The high stake bettings, involved in cockfights, are of major concern for the police department. The sport of cockfighting has long been outlawed in India, with the Supreme Court proclaiming the practice to be in direct violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.
In order to stop cockfighting in Visakhapatnam, the police have already closed in on 200 members previously related to organising cockfights. Apart from capturing organisers, the Visakhapatnam District Police have taken the initiative to run awareness campaigns to avoid this blood sport. Special teams have been formed by the police department to patrol around cities and villages where the sport is usually conducted. Additionally, lady police officers, from the law and order department, have been given the responsibility to collect any information regarding cockfighting in Visakhapatnam.
In a shocking revelation, the illegal transactions, related to betting and gambling during the Pongal season, is estimated to be approximately Rs. 1000 crore. The stakes are comparatively low in the North Coastal Districts, whereas, the betting gets very intense in the Godavari, Krishna, and Guntur Districts where stakes soar up very high. The fighting roosters are bought at least a year in advance for a whooping Rs.10,000 to Rs. 15,000. They are put on specialised diets and trained extensively.
Apart from cockfighting in Visakhapatnam, the police department also received reports of bull races being organised, adding another target to their hit-list. Last year, the Visakhapatnam District Police arrested over 100 organizers and gamblers involved in cockfights and further seized 50 fighting roosters.