Madurai: Bull Sustains Crippling Leg Fracture During Palamedu Jallikattu Event One Day After Another Bull Died at Avaniapuram

For Immediate Release:
16 January 2013

Sachin Bangera +91 9820122561; [email protected]
Bhuvaneshwari Gupta +91 9167134682; [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 – Just one day after a bull died from a head-on collision with a moving passenger bus at Monday’s jallikattu event in Avaniapuram because an inspector authorised by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, reported that during a jallikattu event held on Tuesday, 15 January, in Palamedu, Madurai, a bull sustained a crippling leg and fetlock joint fracture. At the time of the injury, the terrified bull was being chased down a narrow road by a mob carrying sticks. In an effort to protect himself, the panicked bull jumped more than 10 feet off the road and onto a field.

No medical aid was supplied to the bull until 90 minutes after the incident, and the help came only after the AWBI inspector pleaded with the police and other authorities. The inspector also reported witnessing participants beating animals, twisting their tail bones and poking them with sickles and knives and even police hitting, poking and prodding bulls with their lathis. In addition, the inspector observed organisers forcibly rubbing a bull’s nose and eyes with a liquid in order to disorient him.

A photograph of the bull with the fractured leg, a photograph of police prodding a bull with their lathis and other photos and video clips of cruelty from the recent jallikattu events are available from PETA.

The head-on collision at Avaniapuram occurred 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. No veterinarians could be found at the scene of the death and the inspector witnessed abuse, such as a person biting the tail of a bull and participants forcing fluids, likely liquor, down bulls’ throats. It can also be easily observed during jallikattu coverage on television that the bulls are hit with sticks and that the animals lack official AWBI registration. (The bulls are supposed to be marked with a number on their horns.)

PETA is now calling on Tamil Nadu 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, “There is nothing manly about chasing a frightened bull until he falls and his bone snaps or until he gets hit by a bus and dies, and there is nothing more pathetic than a bunch of grown men forming a mob to terrify animals deliberately. Strong men, real men stand up for animals against abuse. Jallikattu is not a sport – it is illegal cruelty to animals, plain and simple”.

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 at the yards and given sufficient fodder – were disregarded at both jallikattu events described above. 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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