Monday, 30 January 2012

‘Implement ban on jallikattu’

Animal welfare organisations such as People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) have written to Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natrajan requesting her to implement her ministry’s notification which bans jallikattu, a bull taming festival, even as many bulls and competitors were injured during the event this year. 

Organisations from all over India such as In Defence of Animals (IDA), Plant and Animals Welfare Society (PAWS), International Animal Rescue Goa, Foundation for Animals Nellore, JBF (India) Trust Guwahati, International Animal and Birds Welfare Society, Anantapur, among others, have written to Natrajan on the issue as violations of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules were duly noted by some organisations during the event. 

In fact, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had identified bulls as performing animals through a notification in 2011, which implicitly means a ban on jallikattu but the Madras High Court’s Madurai bench allowed the event to take place in Tamil Nadu this year. “We are asking the MoEF to defend its own notification in court as there can be no ruling which goes against a central notification such as the one issued by them. We compliment them on such a forward-looking notification but expect its implementation soon,” said FIAPO chief executive officer Arpan Sharma. 

The organisations said every year, during the festival, bulls are harassed, beaten, prodded and tormented. In fact, PETA conducted investigations at five jallikattu events and found that bulls were tied tightly, causing them severe discomfort, they were hit with fists and their tails pulled and twisted and they were wrestled to the ground. All these are violations of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, the organisatons said. 

According to news reports cited by the organisations, 19 competitors and 23 bull tamers were injured at a jallikattu in Avanuyeapuram on January 15, where 257 bulls were used. At another event near Tirupati, bulls were forcibly given country liquor and 18 persons were injured. 

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