France: Cockfighting – The Name of Tradition


The article below is translated by Google. Original french article can be found in the link of the article title below.

You may want to zoom out a little to fit the photos on the column.

– Gameness til the End

Cockfighting in the north of France: the name of tradition

Guy Sadet
Friday, January 21, 2011

Paradoxical, ironic you said?

I guess most of you will think that it is inconceivable, even shocking to publish an article on cockfighting in a blog which is largely restricted to animal life, and for their protection in especially that of birds.

Far be it from me by making me the champion of this activity, a Thurs from another era that some think over.

Yet this tradition is still alive and well in our area, the only metropolitan France where cockfighting is still allowed, then practiced.

In Martinique – and in Guadeloupe – it beats as roosters who, before each bout, are entitled to special treatment and are bathed in strong rum, massed like sports, sundeck and crustaceans to the meal. 

It still exists in the Nord – Pas de Calais forty gallodromes attended by more than a thousandcoqueleux [coqueleurs] for almost as many breeders.

The North gallodromes are assiduously frequented by Belgians because cockfighting is banned in Belgium since 1929. They come in so neighbors, sometimes by the busload, representing 40% of members of the federation. 

In the arena of Gallo , 60000 roosters compete each season from the first Sunday in December to August 15 … and 45,000 die!

In 1850, the law prohibits such Grammont fighting that nevertheless continued to be practiced illegally for over a century, justice remains very tolerant of thousands of coqueleux who maintain the tradition.

However, the Act of November 19, 1963 has tightened the ban, but in response, mobilization was restored as the parliament July 8, 1964 authorization to practice the fighting in places with uninterrupted local tradition.

De Gaulle would have taken sides: ” Because we eat roosters, although they must die one way or another . “

The law remains restrictive as it prohibits the creation of new gallodromes and even, somehow, the replacement of a site that would come close to.

Sporadically, parliamentarians rise to niche in order to prohibit this practice, relying on Article 521-1 of the Penal Code which prohibits grave abuses and acts of animal cruelty.

With the exception, as specified in paragraph 7, bullfights and cockfights  in localities where an unbroken tradition can be established. 

A member filed last July a bill calling for the removal of this famous paragraph.

This is his third attempt. In 2004 and 2007, the proposal had not been placed on the agenda as a precondition to any discussion. 

That of 2010, launched in the wake of the ban on bullfighting in Catalonia, has been co-signed by 57 MPs from all sides, less than one in ten. 

Despite the controversies, cockfights are not going away in the north where the next generation – a generation of younger coqueleux – seems assured.

The Federation wants the same registration cockfighting … World Heritage of UNESCO, as the belfries and the giants of the North!

Read on:

The link provides access to: Roosters fighters , Marie Cegarra, Land (review of Ethnology of Europe) – Men and beasts.

These photographs were taken of gallodrome Hantay (Northern Department).

It is strictly forbidden to reproduce.


Ergot natural cock is cut with a steel wire flush with the leg, this operation is painless.
An artificial nose is placed before each bout.
It seems that this choice of artificial spurs ask has been made to reduce the severity of pain and injury. 
The artificial nose straight and smooth net which causes lesions heal quickly unlike ergot natural curve which tears the flesh. 
Furthermore the steel pin size and shape approximates strictly controlled opportunities for fighters who do not all have the same pins.
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Cockfighting a
Cockfighting 2
Cockfighting 3
Fighting cocks 4
Cockfighting 5
Remy Cogghe the painter to writer Maxence Van der Meersch, cockfighting inspire artists.

   Many artists were inspired by cockfighting, among them the painter Roubaix Remy Cogghe who in 1889 realizes his fundamental work ” Cockfight in Flanders “ .
Nearly a half – century later, the great writer Maxence Van der Meersch recounts in a chapter of his novel ” The footprint of the god “- which was later adapted to film – a scene of a battle anthology cock.
This novel – Prix Goncourt in 1936 – tells the dramatic tale of Karelina, a peasant and pretty shy.Forcibly married to a brutal man, it undergoes its moods and its humiliations.
When her executioner ends up in prison, she fled, taking refuge with his uncle, a famous writer.His wife, welcomes the commitment young woman, seeing it as his own daughter.
The two women know when they come to seal their fates.
Cockfight in Flanders (1889)
Remy Cogghe
In 1889, the painter Roubaix Cogghe Remy (1854-1935) painted one of his major paintings, award at the Salon of French artists, now on display at the museum  La Piscine in Roubaix. 
The cockfight in Flanders shows us the public where bourgeois and workers come together around the arena a gallodrome – mostly friends painted with an amazing attention to realism – and who are the witnesses of the fury of thank you without a fight that will result in the death of the vanquished. 
The artist who tames with talent like the portrait technique to reproduce in her scenes and mainly anecdotal in this work, where it is possible to isolate each character as the details are precise and startling truth.
Cogghe has produced numerous drawings and sketches before coming to this amazing picture, painted in height and large,
suggesting that the actors are shown full size.
The general aspect of the work is generally quite dark, except for the first plan, it is informed more generous, with the remainder being degraded, including the background where we see characters perched on a balcony, some leaning on the railing.
At the heart of the table, into the audience, the look is captured by the hand of a character, almost anonymous, it tends upwards: we must not forget that fighting result in paris, what The artist does not fail to show.
23, rue de l’Espérance, Roubaix.
Excerpt from the novel by Maxence Van der Meersch  
The imprint of God, Paris, Albin Michel, 1936:
The first …, the cock of Gomar returned to battle. He walked, head down,
long neck, the eye [eye] injected. The other waited on his leg twitched
left, got tangled in the woefully broken limb lying.
But he did not flee before the force that would crush it. And the cock
Gomar was on him. There was a third time, a frantic confusion,
the collision of two furies, a flock of feathers and red droplets,
audible noise of weapons hitting the boards. A cry:
– A head game! a head game!
And when we could distinguish something, we saw the two birds
side by side, shot them both, and members inextricably
tangled. They twitched, struggled, unable to recover
standing. The weapon of big cock Gomar, as is common, crossed
the cock’s head blue, and gouged out both eyes. And the first, held by its
leg, flapping its wings to rise, while the other died in
a desperate convulsion. The same anxiety gripped everyone!
– Go ahead! Go!
If the rooster Gomar also remained lying, the game was zero. And we
watched, in a spasm of the nerves, spasms of the beast. It
beat its wings again, he gave a start. And, to a clamor of
throughout the room, he sat up. And he stood, held by the leg to
head of his fallen enemy, trying to leave, and after shaking his
spur the head blind in both eyes crossed, and from which blood
flowed. He looked next to his eye [eye] as hard and implacable.
 And, of beak, it stung the crest of the vanquished, enjoyed the warm red liquid and
– One minute, the referee announced.
The rooster was standing three minutes. It would be long. Gomar the
felt. His cock “had in the Gave.” He was standing, but
painfully. One could guess that he used his strength. To the second
minute, he began to falter. He half-opened wings, breathed
very largely swelled his chest broad, in a quick gasp. A
flow of blood rose, a thick slime, although he opened any major
embarrassed his beak, to breathe more fully. He looked around
him. His eyes grew dim. But he stood up embodying the
end of pride, dilapidated and splendid as the very image of victory,
with his head high, which precipitated the breath burned his chest,
feathers hanging around him like shreds, and the corpse, to
earth, trampling it. A breath was suspended the breath of one hundred
– Hold!
– Hold it!
Gomar felt the agony in the flesh of his cock, and clenched
muscles, as if his effort had been able to help one of the beast. And the general
red rooster standing unsteadily, a pasty blood dripping from the beak open,
watching all these people, and panting, gasping for air. Anxiety
oil filled her hard, his dim consciousness, as if he had
vaguely felt that he was dying.
– Hold!
– Hold it!
– Twenty francs!
– Tope!
– He has had enough!
– Ah, the devil!
– Hold on, the name of D. .. !
Standing, dying, the beast looked at the crowd.
– Three minutes! announced the referee.
And a huge roar, swearing, laughing, hooting, great fanfare, it
answered. Gomar had won. At that time, the great cock sank
Gently, lay down to die. But that does not matter anymore.
It was all over. Gomar was already in the park, he grabbed his cock
victorious by the legs. And his fist, he tended to the crowd, dripping
blood, as a bloody trophy.
– Twenty-five francs! Twenty-five francs! Who wants it? Hey, Siska, a
famous soup! Twelve pounds for five dollars!

Notice to visitors of this blog:

For technical reasons, I was led to choose the PREMIUM version of the platform Over-blog that hosts this blog.

The site Nature-wing now has a domain name as you may have noticed.

This had the unfortunate consequence of removing the very large number of your votes via Facebook, all counters have been reset. Fortunately, your comments have been preserved.

I am sorry the first … and thank you for your visits!


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