For Immediate Release:
7 January 2021
Dr Ankita Pandey; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
PETA India Makes Similar Appeal
Chennai – In response to the Tamil Nadu state government’s recent order allowing jallikattu events with hundreds of people present, over 50 medical doctors have signed a letter to the Chief Minister and Health Minister of Tamil Nadu urging them immediately to withdraw the permission, which the doctors warn poses a grave risk to the general public because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has also asked the state government to stop jallikattu events.
A copy of the doctors’ letter can be downloaded here.
In it, they state, “To prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19 and to protect public health, as well as to ease the pressure on healthcare professionals, non-essential activities such as jallikattu events, which lead to unnecessary gatherings of people, must not be allowed.”
The doctors also warn that the measures of COVID-19–negative certificates for participants and thermal screening of spectators as pre-conditions for allowing jallikattu are not enough to stop the spread of the virus. As the letter explains, during the incubation period, a contagious person may be tested too early and produce a false-negative result and not everyone with COVID-19 develops or sustains a fever.
The letter also states, “Since the Tamil Nadu government legalised jallikattu in 2017, at least 22 bulls and 57 humans have reportedly died, while 3,632 humans were injured in events organised throughout the state. Even more human deaths will likely occur because of COVID-19 if jallikattu events are allowed to be organised in the state.”
PETA India Research Associate Dr Ankita Pandey warns, “More people are expected to die this year, not only because of jallikattu itself but also because of COVID-19, if jallikattu events are not stopped. If huge crowds gather to torment bulls, society will be tormented, too.”