I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen photos of horse fighting – typically two young stallions watched by a crowd, much of which bets on the outcome – in Chinese newspapers.
Seems however it’s not a China-only bloodsport. An NGO I’ve come accross lately, Network for Animals campaigns against the cruel practice of horse fighting, a blood sport prevalent on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Here’s what they’ve got to say about horsefighting:
“Billed as a cultural tradition specific to indigenous communities, horse fighting, despite being illegal, is prominent enough to warrant local television coverage, and municipal support in the form of cash prizes and sponsorship from local businesses. While horse fighting is promoted under the guise of tradition, in reality, extensive gambling on the outcomes of the horse fights, with bets running as high as £2000, is the main reason it is prevalent.
Horse fights entail two stallions that are incited to fight each other over a mare in season. They bite, kick and strike each other with their hooves, inflicting serious injuries until one of them submits, flees or is killed. Gouges, gashes and broken limbs sustained during fights are always serious and can be fatal.
Providing veterinary care for horses, educational initiatives, enforcement and the pursuit of improved legislation are some of the areas in which Network for Animals is working to eradicate this brutal practice.