Cock Fighting in Thailand

Cock fighting has been around Thailand for a long time, ever since the 16th century. It started with the then King Narusuan, who was captivated by the Burmese as a child. During his childhood stay there, he started to enjoy watching cockfights. When he became the King of Thailand, he began to breed birds for cock fights and the tradition of cock fighting took root from there. Cock fighting, like Muay Thai, is something of a tradition in Thailand. It is a popular activity all over the country, in both rural areas or in city areas like Bangkok (although you will find more of it in rural areas). This usually goes hand in hand with gambling, even though officially, gambling related to cock fighting is still considered as illegal in the country, as with other forms of gambling such as online casino, online poker and sports betting.

However, cock fighting in itself is a big business; Thailand even exports fighting cocks to other countries like Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia, where the exports are valued to be more than a million baht annually. Plenty of local Thais earned their living by rearing and training roosters. Cock fighting has even turned into a popular sports; there is an International Amateur Cock fighting competition held by the Thai Native Chicken Conservation and Development Association (TCCDA) (although it is the Philippines that is the true haven of cock fighting; they have the Olympics of Cockfighting too!). As the sport grows, it received more demands for safety in regards to the roosters and owners or trainers, especially from the animal activist groups, since cock fighting has always been a bloody sport, where the rooster will either end up dead or too injured to fight another round.

Where gambling is involved, the profits are even more lucrative. In fact, total bets for just one fight can go up to a million baht. Champion cocks are worth a lot more – from a few hundred baht to a few hundred thousands of baht, and its owner can also stand to earn more.