Shri Prakash Javadekar
Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change
6 Kushak Road,
New Delhi 110 001
27th January 2016
We are writing on behalf of the Asia for Animals Coalition, representing international organisations with extensive knowledge of animal welfare issues. We are writing to express our deep concerns with regards to reports stating that “Jallikattu” and similar “bull taming/racing” events continue to take place in many States of India, despite the recent Supreme Court stay on the conduct of such events.
This is of grave concern given that only two years ago, the Supreme Court recognised that the use of bulls in such manner “severely harmed” the animals. In addition to being in contempt of court, it is wholly unacceptable for the law enforcement agencies to allow such events to continue to take place, as suggested by reports. The events are a violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960), and, despite claims, no ‘welfare provisions’ can protect the bulls from suffering or being harmed by such inherently cruel practices. Surrounded by screaming crowds, terrified bulls are chased, punched, mounted, goaded and poked with sharp sticks and dragged to the ground. Bulls have had their eyes gouged out, tails snapped and ears torn.
As a nation with a long history of animal protection, India has been home to many global animal protection leaders, from Swami Vivekananda to MK Gandhi. We are therefore shocked and saddened to hear such cruel events being defended under the guise of “Indian culture”. The Jallikattu undermines the grounds on which India’s strong and progressive animal Protection laws were founded.
We thereby urge you to take strong and immediate action to prevent bull taming/ racing, and other associated events, from taking place, by upholding the Supreme Court’s order, prioritising public safety and animal welfare, and India’s international image and reputation. To permit Jallikattu and other similar events would be to permit illegal activities and the deliberate abuse of bulls.
Sent on behalf of the following organisations:
- Animal Guardians
- Animal People
- Animals Asia Foundation
- Blue Cross of India
- Change for Animals Foundation
- Earth Island Institute
- Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations
- Humane Society International
- International Animal Rescue
- Philippine Animal Welfare Society
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (UK)
- Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Hong Kong
- Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Sarawak
- World Animal Protection