PETA Files Contempt Of Court Petition In Madurai High Court Against Jallikattu Organisers

For Immediate Release:
24 January 2014

Dr Manilal Valliyate +91 9820947382; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya +91 9004547382; [email protected]

Group Says 46 Cruelty-to-Animals FIRs Were Lodged and That Organizers Failed to Adhere to Supreme Court and High Court Guidelines on Jallikattu

Chennai, Tamil Nadu – Today, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has filed a petition with the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court stating that cruelty to bulls and injury of people were commonplace during recent jallikattu events organised in Madurai, Salem, Dindigul, Trichy and Sivaganga districts and that the guidelines of Supreme Court and High Court to hold jallikattu, which state that bulls should not be harmed, were ignored. PETA India also points outs, as per the complaints made by the AWBI-authorised inspectors, the districts’ police have registered 46 First Information Reports (FIR) against those who violated court’s guidelines and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Major violations include:
• The FIRs were filed for violent acts against the bulls including hitting them, twisting their tails and yanking their nose ropes.
• It was also observed that bulls’ tails were bitten in the waiting area and inside the vadi vassal; suspicious liquids (likely alcohol) were forcibly fed to the bulls; bulls were poked with iron rods, metal spears and thick, pointed wooden sticks; and bulls with lameness and those with bleeding nostrils were forced to participate.
• A bull was killed during a jallikattu event at Kandipatti village of Sivaganga district, when a group of tamers pounced on the animal. A spectator was also killed there.
• At all of the events observed by the inspectors, the height of the barricade was less than 8 feet. At many events, the collection yards were not double barricaded, and at events such as the one at Neikkarapatti, there was no double barricade at all. All of this is in violation of Supreme Court and High Court guidelines.
• The bulls were not collected and detained in the collection yard until completion of the event, which led to bulls and people getting injured.
• The terrified bulls were not prevented from straying into residential areas, roadside shops and parked vehicles, and spectators spilling into collection areas hit and pounced on the bulls.

The petition filed by PETA India asks for strict action against the organizers of jallikattu for contempt of court. PETA India also states the guidelines are insufficient to prevent cruelty to bulls because causing the bulls to be terrified and harming this is an inherent part of the game.

“Year after year, the Supreme Court and High Court guidelines on jallikattu and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 are violated during jallikattu events”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “Countless bulls and people have suffered, including from a painful death, because of jallikattu. It’s high time to ban jallikattu.”

Although the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a notification that banned the use of bulls as performing animals – thereby banning jallikattu – these events are still held throughout the state under High Court and Supreme Court guidelines, which PETA India contends are routinely ignored and are meaningless because they do not prevent the cruelty to animals inherent in jallikattu or stop participants and spectators from getting hurt.

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