Buffaloes Are Slapped, Shoved, and Jabbed in Assam for Fights – Take Action Now to Help Stop This!

PETA India filed a petition with the Gauhati High Court opposing the Assam government’s decision to permit buffalo fights. The petition presents evidence from investigations showing that buffaloes, frightened and severely injured, were compelled to fight through physical abuse. The petition appeals to the court to prohibit these cruel spectacles and requests an interim stay to prevent further buffalo fights from taking place during the legal proceedings. These fights violate the Constitution of India; The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; and judgements of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, including in Animal Welfare Board of India vs A Nagaraja & Ors.


Investigations into buffalo fights held in the Morigaon district of Assam – in Ahatguri on 16 January and in Betoni Gaon and Maidhali Pathar near Pasatia Morigaon on 18 January – revealed that to instigate buffaloes to fight, owners slapped, pushed, and shoved them; struck them with wooden sticks; and pulled them roughly by their nose-ropes. When fights were underway, some owners and handlers jabbed the buffaloes with sticks and whacked them with bare hands, causing them further distress. The buffaloes were made to lock horns and fight and sustained bloody wounds to the neck, ears, face, and forehead as a result – many had injuries all over their body. The fights lasted until one of the two buffaloes broke away and fled.

Owners and handlers dragged buffaloes around using ropes threaded through their sensitive nostrils. Some buffaloes’ nostrils bled due to the ropes being yanked, and many repeatedly licked their nostrils in an attempt to relieve the pain. No shade, water, or food was provided for the animals during the fights, a violation of the standard operating procedures for buffalo fighting issued by the Government of Assam.

Some buffalo owners forced the animals to fight in the spectator stands while the official fights were underway in the arena. These unsanctioned fights increased the risk of buffaloes injuring or trampling human spectators.

Such fights are illegal, inherently cruel, and cause immeasurable pain and suffering to the animals forced to participate. They also contradict the tenets of ahimsa (non-violence) and compassion, which are integral to Indian culture and tradition. Allowing these events to continue is a regressive step which threatens to undo almost a decade of progress in human and animal rights.

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