PETA India and other animal advocates celebrated a victory when the Supreme Court of India ruled in 2014 that cruelty is inherent in “bull taming” events known as jallikattu and outlawed all such spectacles. But the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) issued its own notification recently permitting jallikattu as well as equally cruel bull races. Animal-protection organizations furiously filed a battery of petitions, and the Supreme Court suspended the MoEFCC’s decision. Bulls are safe for now, and PETA India is working to keep it that way.
PETA India has documented that during jallikattu events, terrified bulls are often deliberately disoriented by being given substances such as alcohol; have their tails twisted and bitten; are stabbed and jabbed with sickles, spears, knives, or sticks; and are punched, jumped on, and dragged to the ground. Three bulls even died during jallikattu events in 2014. During races, bulls are often hit with nail-studded sticks and pushed beyond the point of exhaustion. In bullfights, a round ends when one of the bulls manages to flee—or is killed.
Also, hundreds of human participants were injured each year when jallikattu was permitted, and many were killed. The Supreme Court, PETA India, and other animal organizations have made sure that bulls are safe for now. And they are working to have all cruel events involving bulls relegated to the history books.
PETA India CEO Poorva Joshipura has been fervently combating jallikattu, even while participants in the cruel “sport” threaten her with rape and other violence over Twitter. And she has responded in the classiest way possible:
Only pathetic, pitiful men enjoy being bullies and harming others, whether the victims are animals, children, or women. It’s not surprising that many of the same men who find enjoyment in tormenting a vulnerable bull also treat women with abuse and disrespect. These are clearly men who weren’t taught kindness and respect for others as boys, but it’s never too late to learn. I will be informing the police about those who are abusive, and who never learned how to have an adult discussion, to help them along on this necessary journey.