Hogs, hounds and hooters

Published December 19, 2008

LAYYAH, Dec 18: Every two months, a 1,000 square yard arena erected of mud in Chak 145 attracts thousands of hog-hound wrestling fans here.

Fight between the blood-thirsty packs of hounds and a chained hog continues for an hour or two unless some dogs bleed to death or the hog surrenders to its enemies. Every time, the sport is held, two or three policemen from the Saddar police are deployed at the venue to ‘maintain law and order’.

The promoters of the game raise wild hogs in their farms while hounds are invited from other places.

The last time the organiser arranged the fight at the arena was Sunday (Dec 14) as part of post-Eid celebrations. Printed publicity material and announcement on megaphones were arranged to attract maximum spectators. The scheme worked and around 8,000 spectators turned up to see who kills who after paying Rs50 as entrance fee.

Amid hoots and cheers, which are mostly for hounds, the chained hogs braved eight hounds, which were let loose in packs of twos, for one hour. The wrestling ended when the hog mauled and kicked a hound and the owner of the hound jumped in the ring to get his helpless ‘pet’ released from the jaws of death. The hog also attacked the invader and injured his hands.

The promoter of the show, Mahr Muhammad Sharif, told Dawn that he organised the event to provide “entertainment to locals at cheaper rates”.

He pointed towards the madly cheering crowd and said that the flocks of fans showed that they loved the game.

Wildlife protection activist Chaudhry Asadullah condemned the sport and called it an act of cruelty against animals.

Wildlife inspector Mian Muneer Ahmed says animal fight is not punishable according to the Wildlife Act and that he had issued preemptive notices to the promoters of the show.

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