Animal Rahat Convinces Kolhapur Community To Cancel Cruel Bull Race

For Immediate Release:

19 August 2011


Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]

Two-Hour Discussion Leads Race Organisers to Pledge Never to Allow Future Abusive Spectacles

Kolhapur, Maharashtra – When Animal Rahat – an organisation dedicated to ending the suffering of animals used for work – learned from a group of bullock owners that a bull race was scheduled to take place on 14 August in the Ichalkaranji area, Animal Rahat officials immediately began discussions with the bullock owners. The officials explained to the bullock owners – many of whom were race participants or race organisers – that bull races, during which the animals are commonly beaten with sticks that often have nails protruding from them, are not only cruel but also illegal. With the bullock owners’ support, Animal Rahat officials arrived at the planned race on 14 August and, after a two-hour discussion with the race organisers and a gathered crowd of more than 5,000 people, convinced the community to stop the planned race, never to allow bull races to happen at the Ichalkaranji area, never to participate in bull races elsewhere and to encourage other bullock owners to do the same and to report any and all bull races to Animal Rahat or to the police.

An 11 July notification by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in The Gazette of India states that bulls can no longer be used as “performing” animals. This means that cruel bull races are now banned everywhere in India. The notification reads, in part, “In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 … the Central Government, hereby specifies that [bulls] shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animals, with effect from the date of this notification ….” Bull races also violate Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which declares that any person who beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives or tortures animals or subjects them to unnecessary pain or suffering shall be charged with cruelty.

“There is no room in today’s society for races that involve beating bulls with sticks and stabbing them with nails”, says Animal Rahat Programme Manager Dr Sudheesh Nair. “Bulls already have a hard life. We commend the Kolhapur community for recognising that bulls should be cared for, not beaten for the sake of an illegal spectacle.”

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