After learning that Malaysia’s Astro television channel was planning to hold and broadcast a jallikattu competition this month at the Selangor Turf Club, PETA Asia informed the network that jallikattu violates Malaysia’s Animal Welfare Act 2015, which states that there are penalties for cruelly beating, kicking, overloading, torturing, or terrifying an animal. In response, Astro pulled out, and the competition was cancelled.
Previous inspections of jallikattu events in India by Animal Welfare Board of India–authorised inspectors found that terrified bulls were often given substances such as alcohol to disorientate them and that their tails were twisted and bitten. They also revealed that bulls were stabbed and jabbed with sickles, spears, knives, or sticks and were punched, jumped on, and dragged to the ground.
In addition to resulting in torment and injury for countless bulls, jallikattu is notorious for hurting human participants. In the months after Tamil Nadu passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act in January 2017, making jallikattu legal in the state, 22 humans were killed, thousands were injured, and numerous bulls died.
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