Feathers fly as cockfighting lands in French court

2015-07-21 18:56
A cockfighting in Calonne-Ricouart, northern France. (AFP, STR)

A cockfighting in Calonne-Ricouart, northern France. (AFP, STR)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - France's top court will this month rule on cockfighting, an ancient blood sport that continues in some French regions despite being banned in most parts of the world.

Two Frenchmen approached the court on Tuesday to complain that current laws were unfair after they were prosecuted for opening a new cockpit on the French island of Reunion in 2012.

While animal cruelty is a crime in France, laws make an exception for sports deeply rooted in tradition like bullfighting and cockfighting.

However, while it is illegal to open new cockfighting rings, the construction of new bullfighting arenas is allowed.

The two men from Reunion argue that this is unfair.

Their lawyer Fabienne Lefevre said the different treatment of the two traditions was an "attack on the principle of equality before the law" and wants the Constitutional Council to overturn the law banning the construction of new cockpits.

By preventing new cockpits being built, the government hopes to eventually stamp out cockfighting.

The French court is expected to rule on the case on July 31.

Cockfighting, which dates to before the Roman era, was popular throughout the Middle Ages, but a distaste for the brutal sport developed in the 19th century and animal rights activists began protesting against the practice.

Pumped with steroids

It was outlawed in Britain around 150 years ago.

The last American state to ban cockfighting was Louisiana in 2007, while the practice remains common and legal in parts of Latin America and Southeast Asia.

France - like Spain - has allowed cockfighting to continue in regions where it was considered traditional while trying to curb its expansion.

Aside from the northern Nord-Pas de Calais region, cockfighting continues in the overseas territories of Reunion, French Guiana, French Antilles and French Polynesia.

Cockfighting sets two roosters - bred for their aggressiveness, trained and pumped with steroids - against each other in a ring, often fighting to the death.

Sharp knives are often added to the birds' natural spurs to increase their deadliness, while spectators gamble on the outcome.

Read more on:    france  |  birds

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.