Buffalo fights continue to be held despite ban
  • | | September 06, 2016 02:14 PM
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Even though the buffalo fighting festival in Hanoi's Phuc Tho District was banned over concerns of cruelty to animals, the buffalo fights were still held over the National Day holiday this year.


Buffalo fights continue to be held in Hanoi''s Phuc Tho District on September 3 and 4 despite ban

On September 3 and 4, Phuc Tho authorities granted permission to two companies to hold a buffalo contest with admittance fees ranging from VND150,000-200,000. The contest included music show, tug of war, the donation of buffaloes to poor families and buffalo fights. The winner was awarded VND100m (USD4,500).

A buffalo was killed during a fight on September 3 while many other buffaloes were injured. Some buffaloes were too badly injured that their owners had to quickly admit defeat to save their lives.

Vu Hong Hai, deputy head of the district culture and sports office said, "I was on the judge panel on September 4. The contest didn't hold cruel buffalo fights, only two buffaloes were pitch against each other to see which one was stronger and we gave the award to the buffalo that showed more strength."

He went on to say that the plan had been submitted to the city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism for guidance.

To Van Dong, director of Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism confirmed that they had given permit to the contest with approval from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

However, head of the ministry's Local Culture Department Trinh Thi Thuy said they had received the report but told Hanoi department that the Local Culture Department didn't have the authority over these cases. They also issued warnings over the buffalo.

The Phuc Tho Buffalo Fighting Festival had been held in January to celebrate the lunar new year in 2014 and 2015. It had attracted local and international media attention when dozens of buffaloes fought and the winning one would be publicly slaughtered as an offering to deities, but the meat was sold at high prices.

In response to criticism over animal cruelty, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism asked localities not to organise event.

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