Following a petition filed by PETA India that seeks to overturn The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Second Amendment) Act, 2017, which allows kambala (buffalo racing) events and other bull and bullock cart races in the state, the Supreme Court of India issued notices to the state government of Karnataka, the Animal Welfare Board of India, and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The court also tagged this matter with the ongoing cases in which PETA India has challenged similar state laws that allow the use of bulls for jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and bullock cart races in Maharashtra.
In the new petition, PETA India points out that the amended Karnataka law is contrary to the object and purpose of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 – central Parliament–enacted legislation mandating that animals be protected from unnecessary pain and suffering. Furthermore, it violates Article 21 read with Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India, which grants them the fundamental right to life and to be treated with compassion and dignity.
From November 2017 to February 2018, PETA India documented routine cruelty to bulls used in eight different Kambala events organised in Karnataka under the regulation of the state law whose constitutional validity PETA India has now challenged in the Supreme Court. Reluctant buffalo bulls were pushed, pulled by nose ropes, dragged to the starting point, and rampantly beaten using wooden sticks throughout the race. Some also had marks on their bodies from previous beatings. Many who finished the race were frothing at the mouth, salivating heavily, and displaying increased respiration rates. At almost all the events, organisers repeatedly announced over the public address system that spectators weren’t allowed to use mobile phones or cameras to record the races, indicating that they wanted the cruelty to animals inherent in such activities kept secret.
You can help buffaloes by signing our petition to stop Kambala races: