After aggressive campaigning by PETA India—including a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of India—the Ministry of Environment and Forests has added bulls to a directive that lists animals (bears, monkeys, tigers, lions and panthers) who are prohibited from being used in “performances.” This means that bulls will no longer be tormented in a cruel spectacle called Jallikattu.
Jallikattu takes place in India’s Tamil Nadu province, where residents chase and taunt bulls in an attempt to grab money tied to their horns. Bulls have chili peppers rubbed into their eyes and are force-fed alcohol, and their testicles are pinched—all in an effort to get them crazed and frantic. Villagers throw themselves on top of the terrified animals in an effort to “tame” them and claim the prize.
PETA India’s Supreme Court case challenged the Tamil Nadu government’s assertion that state law (which allows these cruel contests) supersedes a central (federal) law. PETA India believes that the new directive also outlaws other cruel events, including bullock cart races and bullfights, and the group will be taking action to make sure that they are stopped. Please thank the minister responsible for protecting bulls, Mr. Jairam Ramesh.
In another chapter in PETA India’s fight for bullocks, a “public interest litigation” has been filed in Bombay High Court asking for a directive to enforce an existing ban against the use of bullocks to haul oversized kerosene carts for oil companies.
Please urge the ministry to continue treating animal issues with the seriousness that they deserve.
Written by Jennifer O’Connor