Jallikattu Bullfighting to Resume in India, Despite Supreme Court Ban

In 2014, many animal rights activists celebrated the decision made by the Indian Supreme Court, where jallikattu, a traditional sport typically associated with the Hindu festival of Pongal, involving "subduing angry bulls" in the southern Tamil Nadu state, was banned as a result of animal welfare concerns. According to The Hindu, a Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Misra stated:

"Forcing a bull and keeping it in the waiting area for hours and subjecting it to the scorching sun is not for the animal's well-being. Forcing and pulling the bull by a nose rope into the narrow, closed enclosure or 'vadi vassal' (entry point), subjecting it to all forms of torture, fear, pain and suffering by forcing it to go the arena and also over-powering it in the area by bull tamers, are not for the well-being of the animal."

Despite the Supreme Court ban, we learned (thanks to a Clearly Veg reader) that the Indian federal government has made the decision to allow the bullfighting (or 'bull-taming') events to resume in Tamil Nadu. According to the BBC, the decision follows "days of escalating tension in Tamil Nadu," with over 200 arrests made of those opposing the ban, who feel it attacks Tamil culture and tradition. According to First Post, amendments will be made to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960), which helped enforce the ban in the first place, in order to pave "the way for holding jallikattu without any hindrance." 

The Times of India states that O Panneerselvam, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, will inaugurate the return of jallikattu at Alanganallur in Madurai on Sunday at 10am, with local ministers also inaugurating jallikattu in their various districts. The state government will introduce the the bill that will serve as a replacement (or amendment) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act on Monday morning as part of the "first day of the assembly session," but as The Hindu notes, "the stir continues."

Photo Credit: www.newsweek.com

Lena Tachdjian is a certified nutritionist and a writer, who splits her time between Canada and Armenia. She writes about nutrition, health, food, recipes, culture, travel, animal rights, and more. You can follow her on her nutrition and travel blog http://thetravelingchamelian.blogspot.ca/

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