Hema Malini Calls For ‘Ending Jallikattu Without Delay’
Bollywood’s Dream Girl Teams Up With PETA As Supreme Court Prepares to Hear Arguments Against Tamil Nadu Law That Permits Deadly ‘Sport’
For Immediate Release:
1 July 2011
Sachin Bangera +91 9820122561; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya +9122 40727382; [email protected]
Mumbai – On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the legendary actor Hema Malini who is originally from Tamil Nadu has sent a letter to Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests, urging him to take immediate steps to end jallikattu. The letter comes just days before the Supreme Court hearing regarding PETA India’s petition calling for the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act No 27 of 2009, a state law that permits jallikattu, to be struck down. In her letter, Malini points out that jallikattu – in which terrified bulls are kicked, punched, jumped on, dragged to the ground and otherwise tormented – is in flagrant violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and is also harmful to human participants and spectators. The ministry’s input is expected to be key when the court hears the case on 4 July.
“People expect our officials to uphold meaningful animal welfare standards and to protect citizens”, writes Malini. “I urge you to do so by taking steps towards ending jallikattu without delay.”
Despite claims that regulations would reduce cruelty to animals – and even though the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 prohibits inflicting pain and suffering on an animal – PETA’s investigation into five jallikattu events in January 2011 revealed that abuse is still rampant. Terrified bulls are painfully dragged by nose ropes and surrounded by mobs of taunting people who send the animals into a frenzy. They are goaded by sticks, pushed and wrestled to the ground and pulled in different directions by ropes. At jallikattu events this year, hundreds of human participants have been injured; some people have been killed. In one four-day period in January 2011, 215 people sustained injuries during jallikattu events, 154 of whom were spectators. Two people died.
This isn’t the first time that Malini has teamed up with PETA to help animals. In 2009, she sent a letter to the municipal commissioner of Mumbai urging him to ban cruel and dangerous horse carriages from the city’s hot, busy streets.
Hema Malini’s letter to Minister Ramesh follows. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.
The Honourable Jairam Ramesh
Minister of Environment & Forests
Government of India
New Delhi 110 003
Dear Mr Ramesh,
The welfare of animals is very important to me. I am writing to ask you to make a hugely positive impact for bulls by taking steps to put an end to jallikattu.
Bulls in jallikattu are terrorised for entertainment. They are surrounded by screaming crowds, jumped on, pushed, hit, teased and wrestled to the ground. My friends at PETA have organised investigations at jallikattu events and documented that bulls are pulled roughly by nose rings, punched, pummelled, hit with sharp sticks and crammed into trucks so tightly that they can barely move.
What’s more, Jallikattu also results in injuries and death to numerous people each year.
Jallikattu violates the spirit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, which prohibits beating animals, kicking them and causing them unnecessary pain or suffering. People expect our officials to uphold meaningful animal welfare standards and to protect citizens. I urge you to do so by taking steps towards ending jallikattu without delay.
I can be reached via Sachin Bangera of PETA at [email protected]
Thank you for your time and your consideration of this important matter.