Amid growing chorus for holding Jallikattu this year during Pongal, animal welfare body PETA on Thursday said the purpose of festival is to thank the nature which cannot be achieved by tormenting bulls and causing injuries and deaths to people and bulls.
PETA’s remarks came on a day when the Supreme Court rejected a plea urging it to pass judgement on bull taming sport Jallikattu before the harvest festival of Pongal on Saturday.
The court had reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging Centre’s notification allowing the sport.
The Tamil Nadu government has also asked the Centre to consider promulgating an ordinance for “removing the legal impediments” to enable the conduct of the sport.“There is so much more to Pongal festival than taunting bulls, including praying, singing songs, garlanding and decorating bulls, eating sweets, providing God with offerings, and more.
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“The purpose of the festival is to thank the nature and celebrate life (something that can’t be achieved by tormenting bulls and causing human and bull injuries and deaths)”, Director of Veterinary Affairs of PETA Indiam Manilal Valliyate said.
Among the types of cruelty banned under Indian law are dogfighting, cockfighting, bullfighting, bull racing, the use of certain species of animals in performances such as for circuses and film and more.
“Cruel practices inherent in bull races, bullfighting, and Jallikattu are prohibited under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the use of bulls in performances was banned by the then Environment Ministry in 2011. Bulls across the nation are afforded this protection not only those in Tamil Nadu.
“In 2014, the Supreme Court confirmed that spectacles such as bull races, bullfights, and Jallikattu violate Indian law. While Jallikattu is more prevalent in Tamil Nadu, bullfights are more common in Goa and bull races in Maharashtra, Punjab, and elsewhere,” he said.
There has been a growing chorus for holding bull taming sport Jallikattu, with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging the Centre to consider promulgating an ordinance to enable the conduct of the sport.
AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala has also written a letter to the Prime Minister, noting that the ban on the bull taming sport had caused “resentment” in the state.
A 27-member delegation led by Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai met Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave on Wednesday and also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office in this regard.