Not targetting only ‘jallikattu’, but all forms of animal cruelty: PETA India

New Delhi: PETA India has been in the limelight after it took a stand against ‘jallikattu’, a form of bull fighting in Tamil Nadu. Political parties in Tamil Nadu are up-in-arms against PETA India stating that the organisation was part of an international conspiracy that aimed to eradicate some traditional breeds of bulls. However, PETA India has clarified their stand on a blog post on their website.

To a question about PETA India only targetting ‘jallikattu’, the organisation has responded saying:
“We are targeting all cruelty to animals, not just jallikattu. A 7 July 2011 notification in The Gazette of India made using bulls as performing animals illegal. This applies to jallikattu, kambala, bull races, bullfights and other uses of bulls for performances. In its 7 May 2014 judgement, the Honourable Supreme Court confirmed this ban on the use of bulls for performances. The court also ruled that cruelty is inherent in these events, as bulls are not anatomically suited to them. It observed that forcing bulls to participate subjects them to unnecessary pain and suffering, so it ruled that such races are not permitted by law. Jallikattu, bull races and other similar events also violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. This means the causing of unnecessary suffering to bulls which is inherent in these events has been illegal for 56 years.
Section 77 of the 7 May 2014 Supreme Court judgement says, “77. We, therefore, hold that AWBI is right in its stand that Jallikattu, Bullock-cart Race and such events per se violate Sections 3, 11(1)(a) and 11(1)(m)(ii) of PCA Act and hence we uphold the notification dated 11.7.2011 issued by the Central Government, consequently, Bulls cannot be used as performing animals, either for the Jallikattu events or Bullock-cart Races in the State of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country”.
Section 3, 11(1)(a) of the PCA Act, 1960, makes it illegal if any person “beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes, or being the owner permits, any animal to be so treated”. Section 11(1)(m)(ii) of the
Section 11(1)(m)(ii) of the PCA Act, 1960, makes it illegal if any person “confines or causes to be confined any animal (including tying of an animal as a bait in a tiger or other sanctuary) so as to make it an object or prey for any other animal”. The Supreme Court clarified, “Fight can be with an animal or a human being”. Its order said, “Section 5 of TNRJ Act envisages a fight between a Bull and Bull tamers, that is, Bull tamer has to fight with the bull and tame it. Such fight is prohibited under Section 11(1)(m)(ii) of PCA Act read with Section 3 of the Act”.
The Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu (TNRJ) Act was struck down by the Supreme Court because it was “inconsistent and in direct collision with Section 3, Section 11(1)(a), 11(1)(m)(ii) and Section 22 of the PCA Act read with Articles 51A(g) & (h) of the Constitution and hence repugnant to the PCA Act”. Furthermore, Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code reads, “429. Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees.—Whoever commits mis­chief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, or any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both”.
To a charge that banning the ‘jallikattu’ would eliminate native breeds of cattle., PETA India states, “Cattle breeds in India have been changing for many years because of a variety of factors, even during the decades when jallikattu was allowed, so to claim this change is primarily a result of banning jallikattu is preposterous. Cattle breeds are largely manipulated by humans to suit their own “needs” – such as increased milk production. Changes in breed don’t mean the extinction of a species. Domesticated cattle are not at risk of being on the endangered species list.”
Read the entire PETA India post here: FAQs on ‘Jallikatu’, bull races and PETA India