Horse fighting is a spectacle put on in countries like China, S. Korea and the Philippines (where it is illegal).
The Year of the Horse is stimulating even more of these barbaric events in China. Conducted in front of cheering crowds, blood, gore, and gambling is prevalent.
Yahoo Sports reports:
Tiantou Village (China) (AFP) – Hooves clash in mid-air, a stallion bites his opponent while delighted spectators cheer wildly — in southern China some saw in the Year of the Horse by watching the animals fight.
For the residents of Tiantou, a remote village in the Guangxi region, the 500-year-old tradition which pits male horses against each other in a fight over a female was the only way to kick off the Lunar New Year.
“Without horse fighting it wouldn’t feel like a new year,” said Pan Jianming, whose horse Little Black reared-up on its hind legs and bit its opponent’s neck to scoop victory in a competition this weekend.
“He stood up and hit the other horse straight away,” Pan, a 31-year-old air conditioner repairman, said.
“If he likes the female horse, it doesn’t matter how much pain he’s in, he won’t run away,” he added, his black and white shirt stained with blood which dripped from a gash on his horse’s nose.
“We have medicine to treat his injuries, and he will gradually get better,” added Pan, who claimed a champion’s prize of 500 yuan ($80).
Horse breeders said that the ideal age for an equine pugilist was between four and eight years. Most animals do farm work when not fighting.
“Horse fighting is just for fun,” said Pan Yinghong, who held his horse with a rope as animals neighed and whinnied.
The competitions are also about “glory”, he added.
“If I win, people will think of me as a horse king, and it’s also good for attracting women.”
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We are dialoguing on horse fighting with the Office of Cultural Affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC.
We are also focusing on the Philippines where it is already against the law, pushing for enforcement. We have had limited success because of government corruption.
We keep at them; refuse to go away. And continue to search for new insights and ideas for change.
At the end of the day, change must come from within, from within the hearts and minds of the people of the countries where atrocities against animals are carried out. They will then take up the work themselves and get it done.
One country where animal welfare is taking root is China. Change is slow. It is beginning to bear fruit.
RedPepper.org in the UK reports:
- Welfare legislation to protect animals in China sounds like a pipe dream when every day the international media reports news of bears held in cages no bigger than their own bodies and tapped of their bile, cats water-boiled alive and livestock thrown to tigers and lions in Chinese zoos – in the name of entertainment, to name just a few.
But as the world points a finger at China, hope is coming from within the country where a Chinese animal welfare movement is emerging and rapidly maturing – becoming stronger with every documented animal welfare abuse.
Most recently, repeated reports by the Chinese media about the slaughter of thousands of dogs in China to prevent rabies has sparked a backlash from Chinese citizens calling for China’s first animal welfare law that could see the criminalisation of this brutal animal slaughter and other mistreatment of domestic animals.
Currently only endangered species are protected in China and this lack of welfare legislation is a major hurdle for NGOs such as Animals Asia and grassroots groups in China.
Chang Jiwen, the law professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, leading the drafting of animal welfare legislation, said, ‘China has begun to be aware of the importance of animal welfare because it touches on the economy, trade, religion, and ethics …’ he added that enacting such legislation will be no easy task, ‘The future is bright, but the path ahead will be tortuous.’
— Animal-Rights Advocates Notch Another Victory in China; Wall Street Journal; Oct. 9, 2013
— Chinese Circus Canceled After Citizens Raise Animal Welfare Concerns, Call For Boycott; Huffington Post; Oct. 9 2013