Jallikattu is banned under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

Jallikattu is a traditional sport in Tamil Nadu in which a Bos indicus bull, a pure breed is released into a crowd of people. Multiple human participants attempt to grab the large hump of the bull with both arms and hang on to it while the bull attempts to escape. It may read easy, but is very difficult. One of the rules state that the tamer should hold on to the hump of the bull for 30 seconds or 15 feet, whichever is longer when the bull runs. And if no one manages to do that, the bull is declared as the winner.

An investigation by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) concluded that the sport is inherently cruel to animals, following which, the AWBI filed a case in the Supreme Court (SC) for an outright ban on Jallikattu.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had first approached the SC in 2004, to ban Jallikattu, stating it is animal cruelty. Currently, those protesting against the ban are suggesting that PETA should be banned. One twitter user even said that PETA should seek to ban slaughtering of animals in the name of religion as well.

Dr Manilal, from PETA India, said, “PETA does not choose campaigns based on religion. That said, anyone who says we don’t campaign against slaughter simply hasn’t used Google.” In defence, he added, “PETA India is a vegan advocacy group and we campaign against slaughter every single day. The slaughter of animals on the street is already illegal under the Slaughterhouse Rules 2001, but the killing of goats is allowed under Indian law. We wish it wasn’t. We have raised awareness about vegan eating during Eid, Christmas, Easter, Janmashtami and more. However, while goat slaughter is not illegal, spectacles like Jallikattu are against Indian law and as an animal protection group, we can only call for laws to be upheld.”

These bulls are bred specifically for Jallikattu by villagers. Bulls that are able to participate successfully in the Jallikattu event are used as studs for breeding. These bulls also fetch higher prices in the markets. According to published sources, when the SC banned Jallikattu in 2014, they said that bulls are not categorised as performing animals, and that they are anatomically not designed for it. But they are forced to perform, inflicting pain and suffering, which is violation of Section 3 and Section 11(1) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

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