It's Not Just Dogs...

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The recent publicity about an NFL (football) player being accused of hosting illegal dogfights has raised a lot of people's awareness of what I call "the pit bull underground". I'm not sure if the publicity will help put an end to the practice or pique people's interest in aggression as a spectator sport.

But are you aware of the "sport" of horse fighting? It works basically the same way as a dog fight. A mare is presented to two stallions and they battle each other before a cheering throng. The International Fund for Horses has a fact sheet on horse fighting that should be sufficient to shock you.

The Philippines is the country where horse fighting receives the most publicity, but apparently China and Korea allow the sport as well. Historically, Iceland and Scandinavia embraced horse fighting as an ancient tradition. On July 17, a scheduled horse fight in the Philippines was canceled to comply with the country's animal welfare laws. has a growing list of horse fighting videos you can watch, if you have the stomach.

If this sounds barbaric, consider this: Four days ago, on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 the last legal cockfights in the USA were held. Louisiana and New Mexico were the last two states in the USA with legal cockfighting.

And how about camels? Turkey is one country that boasts of matches between trained wrestling camels.

Animal fighting is a worldwide activity.

(Photo links to International Fund for Animals web site.)