What is the legality of cockfighting in Samoa?

Is Cockfighting Legal in Samoa?

Although cockfighting is considered illegal in many countries, it remains a popular and widely practiced sport in Samoa. Cockfighting in Samoa is not officially legal, but it is tolerated by the authorities, and is deeply rooted in Samoan culture and tradition. Due to its cultural significance, it is still practiced openly in many rural areas of the country, where it is seen as an essential part of local identity.

Overview of Cockfighting in Samoa: What Should You Know?

Cockfighting in Samoa is a traditional and highly competitive sport, involving two roosters pitted against each other in a fight to the death. The practice dates back centuries and is deeply rooted in Samoan culture. Some key aspects of cockfighting in Samoa include:

  • Breeding: Roosters are carefully bred and trained for fighting, with special attention given to their strength, agility, and endurance.
  • Blades: In many cases, sharp metal blades or gaffs are attached to the roosters’ legs to increase the chances of inflicting serious injury on their opponents.
  • Gambling: Cockfighting is closely associated with gambling in Samoa, as spectators often bet on the outcome of the fights.
  • Tradition: Cockfighting has deep cultural and historical significance in Samoa, with some local legends even suggesting that the sport was brought to the islands by the gods themselves.

What is the Local Term for Cockfighting in Samoa?

The local term for cockfighting in Samoa is a’ai tua, which translates to fighting chickens in English. The sport is also known as toe feiloa’i moa, meaning chicken confrontation. These terms are commonly used by Samoans when referring to the practice of cockfighting.

How Are Laws, Penalties, and Law Enforcement Addressing Cockfighting in Samoa?

Despite its cultural significance, cockfighting remains a controversial practice in Samoa due to concerns about animal cruelty and the associated gambling activities. As a result, there have been some attempts by the Samoan government and law enforcement to address the issue:

  • Animal Welfare Act: In 2015, Samoa introduced the Animal Welfare Act, which includes provisions against animal cruelty. However, the Act does not specifically mention cockfighting or provide penalties for the practice.
  • Police action: In some instances, Samoan police have raided cockfighting events and arrested individuals involved in organizing or participating in the fights. However, these actions are relatively rare, and the sport continues to be practiced openly in many areas of the country.
  • Public opinion: There is a growing awareness of animal welfare issues in Samoa, and some Samoans are calling for stricter laws and enforcement to address the issue of cockfighting.

What Government Laws and Resources Exist Regarding Cockfighting in Samoa?

While the Samoan government has not explicitly banned cockfighting, there are some laws and resources that address the issue indirectly:

  • Animal Welfare Act 2015: As mentioned earlier, this Act includes provisions against animal cruelty but does not specifically mention cockfighting. The full text of the Act can be found here.
  • Samoa Law Reform Commission: This government body is responsible for reviewing and recommending changes to Samoan laws. They have conducted research on animal welfare issues, including cockfighting, and may recommend changes to the law in the future.
  • Ministry of Police and Prisons: The Samoan police force is responsible for enforcing the country’s laws, including those related to animal welfare. However, their enforcement of laws related to cockfighting is inconsistent, and the practice remains widespread.

In conclusion, cockfighting in Samoa is a deeply rooted cultural practice that is not explicitly prohibited by law. While there have been some attempts to address the issue through legislation and law enforcement, the sport continues to be practiced openly in many parts of the country.

1 thought on “What is the legality of cockfighting in Samoa?”

  1. I am considering taking a holiday to Samoa and I would like to know what the legal status of cockfighting is. Does the government of Samoa legally permit this activity, or is it prohibited? Is there any legislation in place that governs the practice of cockfighting in Samoa? I am particularly interested in learning about the legality of this activity and the regulations that may be applicable to it.


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