A legal home for fowl play

A resident of Koh Kong’s Dang Tong commune holds one of his fighting cocks under his arm on Monday. Shaun Turton

Shaun Turton and Phak Seangly
The Phnom Penh Post, Wed, 23 November 2016

After nearly 10 minutes of pitched battle, both fighting cocks were clearly worn down.

The handlers brought the birds back to the middle of the caged ring during a fight earlier this year on the grounds of CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat’s now largely deserted Safari Park.

A piece of clear plastic, placed between the birds so they could stare-off and muster some aggression, was spattered with blood, which spewed from the metal-spur-inflicted wounds.

A crowd of about 100 people – mostly middle-aged men, but including some women and children – began to shout as the fight was restarted once again, the roar rising with every strike.

“I think I’m going to lose,” said tuk-tuk driver Vanna, who bet $5 on the “blue” contender (identified by a coloured tag around his ankle), which was considered an underdog given that his “red” opponent was a few hundred grams heavier.

But, he added, “The bigger birds don’t always win. It’s difficult to tell.”

Though Prime Minister Hun Sen proclaimed cockfighting illegal in 2009, like many rules in the Kingdom, there are exceptions.

Business tycoon and ruling party Senator Yong Phat is one of those. (more…)

Posted on: November 22, 2016 8:16 pm