80 Doctors Petition Tamil Nadu Government to Stop Jallikattu Over COVID-19 Risk

For Immediate Release:

22 December 2021


Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

Sanskriti Bansore; [email protected]

Chennai – As countries around the world impose new safety guidelines in response to rising COVID-19 cases and the threat of the Omicron variant, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has revealed that 80 medical doctors have appealed to Chief Minister Thiru MK Stalin and Thiru Ma Subramanian, the minister of health, medical education, and family welfare, not to allow jallikattu events, as the potentially super-spreader spectacles pose a grave health risk to the public.

A copy of the doctors’ letter is available upon request.

“Prohibiting non-essential activities such as jallikattu events, which lead to unnecessary mass gatherings, is essential to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19 and to protect public health as well as to ease the pressure on health-care professionals,” says Dr Deepshikha Chandravanshi, one of the doctors who signed the letter.

“Non-essential events such as jallikattu have no place in a country battling a deadly contagious virus,” says PETA India CEO Manilal Valliyate. “PETA India is calling on officials to heed the professional opinions of these medical doctors and call off jallikattu events to protect the bulls from cruelty and the public from a life-threatening disease.”

Since the Tamil Nadu government legalised jallikattu in 2017, at least 22 bulls and 69 humans have reportedly died, while more than 4,696 humans have been injured. PETA India has documented extreme cruelty to bulls during these events, which are attended by up to thousands of people. Video footage of 2021 events show masses of unmasked people in close proximity, conditions ripe for the spread of COVID-19, particularly the easily transmissible Omicron variant. PETA India’s extensive video footage shows that during jallikattu, participants force terrified bulls into the arena by biting their tails, yanking their nose ropes, and jabbing them with weapons. The panicked bulls often slam into humans and barricades, often breaking their bones or dying.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.