An Indian man has died after he was slashed by a razor blade tied to a rooster during an illegal cockfight.

The event took place in Pragadavaram village in the state of Andhra Pradesh and led to the death of 55-year-old Saripalli Venkateswara Rao, local media reported.

As one of the organisers held the bird, preparing to release it into the arena, it struggled free and lashed out, inflicting a deep wound on the victim who stood nearby.

Cockfights were banned by the Indian Supreme Court as part of the 1960 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act but the practice remains popular in some areas, especially as part of celebrations for Makar Sankranti, a Hindu festival day.

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A boy shouts to encourage his rooster during a cockfight. Photo / AP
A boy shouts to encourage his rooster during a cockfight. Photo / AP

The birds have blades tied to their limbs before the fights, which continue until one bird is dead or critically injured.

A dozen other injuries were reported from cockfights held during the celebrations.

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The contests attract a large amount of gambling activity and the high stakes encourage breeders to spend big on raising winning fowl.

The birds are fed a protein-rich diet and even given medications such as steroids and antibiotics to pump up muscles and keep the birds free from illness.