London | A group of protesters from a prominent animal rights group gathered outside the Indian High Commission here today to protest against attempts to overturn a Supreme Court ban on bull fighting or “jallikattu” in India.
The protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wore bull masks and carried placards in English and Hindi reading “Jallikattu: Harmful to Humans and Animals” and “India: Keep the Ban on Cruel Jallikattu and Bull Races”.
“The action comes as special-interest groups attempt to overturn the Indian Supreme Court’s recent confirmation that bullfights, bull races, and jallikattu (rodeo-style bull-baiting events) violate India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960,” a PETA UK statement said.
During such races, the bulls are hit with nail-studded sticks and pushed beyond the point of exhaustion.
In bullfights, they’re stabbed and a round ends only when one animal is killed or manages to flee, invariably injured, the group said.
“India must not roll back the clock and allow bulls to be tormented and killed to amuse a screaming crowd,” said PETA UK managing director Ingrid Newkirk, who is also the founder of PETA India.
“The world is watching and hoping that the government of India will do the right thing by keeping these dangerous and cruel spectacles illegal,” she said.
Other PETA affiliates – whose shared motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – have also held anti-jallikattu demonstrations at Indian embassies in Canada and elsewhere around the world.
In May 2014, the Supreme Court of India had banned jallikattu on animal welfare grounds.
However, there have been reports of some regions of the country defying the ban to stage such bull fights.
Jallikattu is an event held in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations.