Madurai: Bull Dies from Head-On Collision with Moving Passenger Bus During Jallikattu Event

For Immediate Release:
15 January 2013

Bhuvaneshwari Gupta +91 9167134682; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera +91 9820122561; [email protected]

Animal Torture, Human Casualties Make Price of Sadistic ‘Taming Game’ Too High for Spectacle Held in Defiance of Central Government Ban, Says PETA

Madurai, Tamil Nadu – Inspectors authorised by the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, report that during the jallikattu event held on Monday, 14 January, in Avaniapuram, Madurai, a bull died from a head-on collision with a moving passenger bus because of the absence of a contained collection area for the bulls, which is a violation of the Madurai bench of the Chennai High Court guidelines that are intended to regulate jallikattu.

The terrified bull ended up in the accident on the main road after running frantically away from jallikattu participants who had been chasing and deliberately agitating him. Other panicked bulls also ran from the jallikattu area onto the main road into the midst of oncoming traffic. The inspectors reported that no veterinarians could be found at the scene of the death. They also witnessed other abuse, such as a person biting the tail of a bull, other people poking bulls with knives and twisting their tailbones and organisers poking and beating animals with wooden sticks and forcing fluids, likely liquor, down their0020throats.

Photos and video clips of cruelty from the event are available from PETA. Other Supreme Court guidelines regulating jallikattu were flouted the double barricade around the jallikattu area was not complete and also didn’t meet the 8-foot height requirement.

PETA is now calling on Tamil Nadu’s chief minister, J Jayalalithaa, to ban jallikattu since it puts both animals’ and people’s lives at risk.

Tamilian and PETA campaigner Bhuvaneshwari Gupta states, “Tamil Nadu is a beautiful state, and our culture is so rich, but the state is getting a reputation as one which considers a cruel game more important than the lives of its animals and people. The bull who died in Madurai was so terrified by jallikattu participants that he ran, eyes wide with fear, straight into a bus. Is this any way to treat God’s creatures during Pongal? It’s shameful!”

Although the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a notification which banned the use of bulls as performing animals – thereby banning jallikattu – the Tamil Nadu government is supporting and permitting jallikattu to be held throughout the state. Jallikattu supporters claim that the events are being held under High Court and Supreme Court guidelines. However, PETA contends that the guidelines are meaningless because they do not prevent the cruelty to animals inherent during jallikattu or stop participants and spectators from getting hurt. In addition, the basic guidelines – which state that efforts should be taken to ensure that the bulls are not tortured in any way, that there must be a collection yard at the end of the passage to prevent the animals from straying into residential areas and that the bulls must be tied in the yards and given sufficient fodder – were ignored at the 14 January jallikattu event. During jallikattu, terrified bulls are chased, kicked, punched, jumped on, dragged to the ground and otherwise tormented – acts that violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Jallikattu is also dangerous – and often deadly – for participants and spectators. Consider the human toll in injuries and deaths from jallikattu events in 2012 alone:
• 15 January, Palamedu, Madurai district: 20 injured, three seriously
• 18 January, various locations across Tamil Nadu during the Pongal festival: at least three dead, 33 injured
• 29 January, Karungulam, Tiruchirappalli district: 46 injured
• 19 February, Thavasimadai, Dindigul district: 37 injured, including four who were hospitalised
• 4 March, Madurai district: more than 90 injured
• 28 April, Sivaganga district: one dead, 30 injured

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