Say No! to Cockfighting  in France

Petition for the attention of

  1. the President of the French Republic and to the members of the French national Parliament to vote for the PROPOSITION of law of December 2013 to exclude all exemptions from punishment for serious abuse of animals

in addition with

  1. the President of the Spanish government and the members of the Spanish Parliament to make sure that cockfighting is banned in your country

  2. the President of the Council of the European Union and the members of the European Parliament to vote for the exclusion of “ respecting the customs of the Member States relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage” in Article 13 of the Treaty of the functioning of the European Union

  3. and to the President of the Council of Europe to prohibit cock fighting and include it into the existing current conventions of the protection of animal welfare :

 COCK FIGHTING IN FRANCE AND SPAIN – a hidden blood sport

"The cock is the poor man's bull."

Not many people in Europe and even in France and Spain are aware that the “blood sport” of cock fighting is still allowed AND practiced in Northern and Metropolitan France, in the Islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique and La Réunion and in Spain in the Canary Islands. Normally cock fighting (combat de coq) is prohibited in France except where an exception is made for cultural reasons under subparagraph 3 of article 521-1 of the French penal code. This is not only an inconsistency in the law but cock fighting does not belong in a civilised country that is part of the European Union and is a member of the Council of Europe, both institutions where animal welfare is highly considered. You may be shocked to learn that cock fighting was banned in France from 1850 but legalised again in the 1960's. In Spain cock fighting (peleas de gallos) is prohibited apart from in the Canary Islands ….. . This petition aims to unveil this hidden practice and asks the institutions not only in France and Spain but also on European and international level to prohibit cockfighting full stop.

Chickens and roosters are very sensitive, social animals. A cockfight exploits the normal behaviour of cocks that they do not tolerate another cock on their territory. In a normal situation, a cock will usually give up a fight (even roosters specially bred for this sport) if he feels that he is the weaker. In the circle of a cockpit they are not given the chance to do this. They are egged on by the spectators. Because, of course, there must be a winner. As with bullfights, there is no escape. Prior to the fight many cocks have their crest, ears and wattles trimmed or even feathers on back, legs and breasts pulled out to prevent the other cock getting a grip.This is a very bloody affair and is mostly done without anaesthetic. The birds are conditioned to fight and may have the natural spurs on their feet sharpened – or even replaced with steel spikes - so as to inflict the maximum damage to their opponents.

In this short documentary by AFP which recently appeared on youtube, you can see images of cockfighting in France. The betting around the cock fighting is a purely masculine affair, a tradition passed down from father to son. There can be a lot of money involved. In general, the fights take place in so-called “gallodromes” in small groups out of sight of the general public. That they would rather not have too much publicity about this blood sport is clear from the images of the newspaper Le Parisien, where the filmmakers were not authorized to film the end of the fight.

Every year between 10,000 and 50,000 cocks are slain in the gallodromes in about 25 towns in Northern France and Pas de Calais.

Please sign our petition to prohibit cockfighting in France and Spain here!

You can read an interesting article in French about cockfighting here:

This is a little documentary of cockfighting in Spain.


Thank you!