'Horrific Blood Sport': Thousands Attend Fighting Dogs in Indonesia

Published August 21st, 2019 - 09:15 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Fighting pit bulls and terriers are pitted against boar in the rural jungle of Indonesia's West Java province.

Fighting dogs, trained as pups, are pitted against wild boar in a rural Indonesian province, despite the horrific blood sport arenas being outlawed.

Hundreds of spectators gather around the pits in West Java, placing bets of up to £120 on their favoured pit bulls and terriers for payouts in excess of £1,000.

'Adu bagong' - wild boar fighting - was banned by the regional governor Ahmad Herywan in 2017, but enforcement is left to mayors who turn a blind eye.

The battles began in the 1960s when wild boar numbers soared throughout the country and dogs were used to hunt the swine when they ravaged plantations.

But the tradition is upheld to this day, breeders having become fond of training their canines to become ferocious, agile killers.

Today, the dogs are not pitted to kill the tusked beasts, but cash prizes are awarded for the number of wounds they can inflict on the boar.

One-one-one scraps are reserved for purebred pit bulls and while the tusks of the swine can inflict injury, it is the boar which suffers, the South China Morning Post reported.

Referees are often required to extract a dog's jaws from the bleeding flesh of the boar who will be replaced by a fresh pig when they become too exhausted.

Indeed, it is the dog owners that must pay for the use of the boar, its transportation and a small fee for every wound their canine inflicts.

But successful breeders make a roaring trade, flogging their dogs for thousands of pounds once a reputation has been established.

In the social media age, the organisers post photos and videos on Instagram and messaging groups are used to rally people to the fights. 

Although Shariah law dictates a prohibition on alcohol, men relax with drinks and among the fans are motorbike gangs, women, children and even soldiers and policemen, sources told the Morning Post. 

The barking of furious dogs and the dank smell of sweating boar hangs in the air as owners struggle to hold their pit bulls which wildly strain against their leashes.

Animal rights activists have pleaded with the local authorities to do more to stop the practice, but in the dense jungle, a crackdown remains difficult and corruption is rife.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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