UPDATE: On January 8th, 2016, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests issued an order to lift the ban on Jallikattu, reports The Hindu. The Animal Welfare Board of India is currently preparing to challenge the order.
In 2014, the Supreme Court of India banned jallikattu, a traditional “sport” in which bulls are forced to run through crowds of young men, who attempt to grab their horns and wrestle them to the ground. It is a hideous ordeal for the animals, tormented into running and violently attacked from all sides, and also results in many injuries and even deaths to its human participants and spectators. Now, The Hindu reports that the government of Tamil Nadu is seeking to legalize jallikattu once more.
Comments Indian animal welfare activist Nanditha Krishna, president of the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation:
Minister Javadekar has announced that he will restart Jallikattu, Bull fighting and Cow races on January 1st which are extremely cruel activities banned by the Supreme Court. It is sad that the same government which could not tolerate the plight of cows in the slaughter houses is OK with restarting hideous games involving deliberately disoriented terrified bulls. Their tails are twisted and bitten and are stabbed, punched, jumped on and dragged to the ground. … Jallikattu is perpetuated under the guise of a cultural tradition. Does this mean we should we restart sati and child marriage in the name of tradition? … Times and sensibilities have changed, and this inhumane and archaic game has no place in the 21st century. Whatever may be the rationale; cruelty cannot be hailed as tradition and continued. Terrifying and injuring innocent bulls in this disgraceful travesty of a “Game” is an abuse of animals. We must fight to stop this practice. … Please tweet to Prime Minister Modi @narendramodi and @PMOIndia asking him not to permit jallikattu.
(Photos courtesy Bharat Kumar / Animal Welfare Board of India)