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Inside Afghanistan’s Cruel and Sadistic Animal Blood Sports

Afghans seem to stage fights with nearly every kind of animal: dogs, roosters, camels, canaries, finches, quails, pigeons.

ROD NORDLAND: ‘The match at the stadium in Mazar drew dog owners from all over Afghanistan, with purses ranging from as little as $65 to more than $20,000. Usually the owners put up an agreed amount to be paid by the loser to the winner. Side bets, often considerable, are placed by spectators.

As the crowd assembled, young boys on the margins held brief practice fights with the dogs; a weak dog helps get the dominant dog in a fighting mood. Most of the fighters were large mixed breeds, some so strong they needed a halter, a leash and two men to be restrained…

Afghans seem to stage fights with nearly every kind of animal: dogs, roosters, camels, canaries, finches, quails, pigeons. Although bird and dogfighting are technically illegal, fines are a modest $150 — a fraction of the sums regularly bet.

Horses used in the even more popular buzkashi matches do not fight per se, but injuries are legion as the animals bite, rear and kick, and their owners beat them and one another with whips in a sport that is a particularly vicious type of polo…

Afghan blood sports of many kinds take place unchecked, despite the opposition of mullahs who denounce them as sinful, and growing criticism from an educated younger generation that finds them the distasteful domain of warlords and their armed followers… A bookseller at Mazar’s Blue Mosque, Aziz Ibrahimi, said he had never attended a dogfight or a buzkashi match. “It’s inhuman, savage and hurtful to animals,” he said.

“We call ourselves a Muslim country,” he continued, “but this is not something Islam supports. The people who support such sports, they’re mostly poor and illiterate, or rich people who got their money by bad means, like the militias”.’ SOURCE…

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