PETA India conducted eyewitness investigations from 15 to 19 January 2020 at seven jallikattu events organised in the state of Tamil Nadu, exposing more evidence of rampant cruelty to animals. During jallikattu, participants mentally and physically torture bulls and endanger the lives of animals and humans.
Traumatising and hurting bulls to make them run, which bulls are not anatomically designed for, causes them immense suffering. Eyewitness photos and videos from jallikattu events in Ariyalur, Dindigul, Madurai, and Tiruchirappalli districts show bulls being whipped with ropes, jabbed with metal sickles and nail-studded wooden sticks, kicked and jumped on, hit, and tackled. Their tails were sadistically bitten and twisted, and exhausted and dehydrated bulls were forced to participate after standing for several hours without sufficient rest, shade, water, or food.
Bloodshed, bullying, and burials have kicked off 2020’s jallikattu season. While the injuries and deaths that jallikattu causes are not always reported by the media, just in January and February of this year alone, at least 13 humans and six bulls reportedly died during jallikattu events and 570 humans sustained injuries. At some jallikattu events, panicked bulls fled onto the surrounding streets, injuring onlookers and even goring some to death.
Inside the vaadi vaasal, PETA India’s eyewitnesses saw many organisers and owners callously yanking bulls off their forelimbs and even completely off the ground by their nose ropes, which often snapped from the tension, causing them agonising pain and bleeding. Several exhausted and dehydrated bulls collapsed before and after running through the arenas, causing severe injuries and death.
Bulls Won't Be Safe Until Jallikattu Is Banned Again
As the Supreme Court declared, jallikattu is fundamentally cruel, and PETA India’s latest investigation reveals that regulations are still a sham: the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2017; the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules, 2017; and the Animal Welfare Board of India’s (AWBI) 2018 guidelines were all flagrantly violated.
To make matters worse, there aren’t any real fines or punishments for violating the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules, 2017, so organisers and participants can abuse bulls at jallikattu events in the state without meaningful consequences.
Crazed spectators were documented sneaking into collection yards to abuse bulls, engaging in reckless “parallel jallikattu”, and holding onto bulls’ horns, which all violate the rules. Several bulls forced to participate weren’t examined by veterinarians, and medical authorities were filmed inside examination camps declaring bulls fit for jallikattu without conducting the mandatory physical exams.
Inspections conducted by the AWBI in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 and PETA India’s 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 investigations have all demonstrated that jallikattu endangers bulls and humans, promotes violence, and disregards life-saving laws.
Reinstate the Ban on Jallikattu
A staggering number of bull and human deaths and injuries continue to occur, confirming that no amount of regulation can prevent cruelty and casualties to bulls or human participants and spectators. Since Tamil Nadu’s government legalised jallikattu in 2017, at least 22 bulls and 57 humans have died and more than 32 bulls and 3,632 humans have been injured in events organised throughout the state. It’s time for the Honourable Supreme Court’s ban on jallikattu to be reinstated in Tamil Nadu permanently.