Despite the ban in Andhra Pradesh on holding cock fights during Sankranti, rooster traders have reportedly taken to OLX & FB to trade trained roosters. The target of these traders remain customers from East and West Godavari, Krisha, Guntur and Visakhapatnam districts.
The demand for roosters is high during Sankranti, both for fights and their meat. The demand reaches a peak during Kanuma, the day following Sankranti. The trained roosters are fed cashews, almonds, millets, milk and non-alcoholic wine to make them stronger. While usually the price of roosters’ meat ranges between Rs 1000-1500, these roosters are being sold at Rs 5000-25,000.
The sellers selling on OLX reportedly hail from Vijayawada, Kadapa, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Guntur, Nellore and Chittoor – many of them selling the birds for a fixed price. Many FB pages have also contributed to the sale of the birds. The sale of the roosters go up to 45 lakh – 50 lakh and the online portals contribute to 15-20% of the sale according to TOI.
The online sale of these trained roosters was reportedly introduced in 2014 and it has picked up momentum this year due to demonetisation. Different kinds of roosters are sold online for cock fights, priced depending on its weight and strength.
Cockfighting is banned under the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 1960, and the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act, 1974.