A centuries-old sport where two roosters fight to the death, Cockfighting is denounced in numerous parts of the world. However, there are also several countries where cockfighting is revered as a tradition, national sport, or even a booming industry.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the legality of cockfighting in Haiti, the third-largest country in the Caribbean.
Legal Status of Cockfighting in Haiti
Cockfighting is highly popular in the Caribbean region, where the sport is ingrained in many island cultures. In Haiti, cockfighting is legal, even being described as the closest thing to a national sport. Cockfighting fits right into the Haitian gambling culture that includes bullfighting and “borlettes,” which is a game that plays on New York Lottery numbers.
How Cokfights Work in Haiti
Cockfight events are organized every Sunday morning in places across the country. Similar to most countries, the crowds in cockfighting pits in Haiti consist of men; women are forbidden from attending cockfights.
Haitians don’t attach sharp spurs to the feet of their gamefowls. Roosters are brought by their owners to the pits inside cages or with a sock or a bag over their birds’ heads to calm them down. Others tuck in their roosters under their shirts. Before a match, the roosters are presented and are made to face other roosters to agitate them.
A referee then selects two birds for the match and sets off a timer, starting the fight. Cockfights can last for a few minutes or up to 30 minutes, which is the maximum limit before the referee stops the fight. The rooster that doesn’t flee, collapses, or die wins the match.
Bets are also wagered in Haitian cockfights. Most bets range from 100 to 500 gourdes, which is about 2 USD to 10 USD. Owners and richer gamblers are known to place bigger bets.
In Haiti, cockfighting is a highly popular sport and a part of the culture. It rivals soccer as the most-watched sport in the country. On Sunday mornings, Haitian men can be found in cockfighting pits all over the country, betting their gourdes on one of two roosters fighting each other to the death inside the ring.
To know the legal status of cockfighting in other parts of the world, check out this article.