High Court of Karnataka Issues Notice to State Government on Kambala

For Immediate Release:
19 February 2016

Nikunj Sharma (0) 9910397382; [email protected]
Shambhavi Tiwari (0) 9167907382; [email protected]

The Court Admits a Public Interest Litigation Filed by PETA Seeking End to Abuse of Buffalo Bulls in Kambala Events

Bengaluru – Today, the Honourable High Court of Karnataka admitted a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India seeking an end to Kambala. After hearing the matter, it issued notices seeking responses from the Karnataka State Government and other respondents in the PIL, including the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and district committees of Kambala, a buffalo race, in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. The senior advocate for the petitioner, Anand Grover, argued that the Department of Animal Husbandry & Fisheries, Government of Karnataka, on 17 December 2015 issued an order permitting Kambala events despite a 2014 Supreme Court judgement that categorically held that such events are inherently cruel and violate The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and hence cannot be allowed.

“Buffalo bulls are forced to run in Kambala events through the infliction of fear and pain. India’s Supreme Court has already confirmed that such events are inherently cruel”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “PETA will continue the fight to protect bulls from abuse, and we are hopeful that justice for these animals will be served, as events involving cruelty to animals have no place in civilised society.”

In 2014, the Supreme Court acknowledged that bulls are not anatomically suited for races or similar activities. Making them participate subjects them to unnecessary pain and suffering, so such events were prohibited. The court also stated that when culture and tradition are at variance with the law enacted by Parliament, the law would take precedence.

A total of 65 non-cognisable offence complaints and one FIR were filed at just three events inspected by the AWBI during 2014–15 Kambala events. The AWBI inspection reports contain a scientific assessment of the welfare of buffalos when they are forced to participate in Kambala events. The reports further point out different forms of cruelty inflicted on the animals with photographic evidence, such as being subjected to verbal and physical force, including shouting, hitting with hands, slapping on the face, violent pulling of thick nose ropes (in some cases two or three nose ropes inserted through the same hole in the nasal septum), rough handling by pushing and pulling the animal, overpowering, tail pulling and restricting the movements of the head using a wooden pole tied to the horns of both the animals. Many of the buffalo who finished the race frothed at the mouth, salivated heavily and displayed increased respiration rates, proving that buffalos are anatomically unfit for running.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – has long campaigned against the use of bulls in performances.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.