In an explosive report on the recently concluded jallikattu tournament in Tamil Nadu, PETA India has alleged multiple instances of animal cruelty. With an extensive number of videos and photos to support their argument, the organisation has said that 'animal torture' cannot be regulated and demanded that the Supreme Court continue the ban on the bull taming sport.
In the 131 page report with visual evidence, PETA has described various instances of cruelty at nine locations between the 14th and 28th of January this year. PETA says that there is evidence to show bulls being proded with iron rods and sharp weapons, their noses bleeding after being tugged at by ropes, multiple participants attacking a single bull and even men biting the tail of the animal to agitate it.
(Man biting tail of bull at a Jallikattu event)
(Bull being hit, poked and dragged by nostril in vadi vasal in Panjampatti T jallikattu)
The report alleges that findings of the 2018 investigation reveal rampant violation of 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 guidelines for the conduct of jallikattu issued by AWBI on January 5 2015. The guidelines had warned participants against twisting and biting tails of the bills, stabbing and jabbing them with weapons, tackling them and failing to provide them with enough rest and hydration. As a result, says PETA, five bulls and 10 humans have died and 757 men including spectators injured in 2018 alone.
(Bull's snout bleeding)
(A bull's nostrils bleeding at Palamedu jallikattu)
"Year after year, investigation after investigation reveals the same thing: deliberate cruelty, injury, and deaths are inherent in jallikattu, and no amount of regulation can change that, which is why the Supreme Court had banned it in the first place," says PETA India CEO Dr Manilal Valliyate. "India's true culture is one of kindness to cattle and respect for life – not forming a violent mob to bully terrified animals," he adds.
Veterinarians who were appointed by the AWBI on the spot, corroborated what PETA India alleges. One member of the team, who reported to the AWBI told TNM, "The same bulls fight at multiple locations and are exhausted as they are transported to various venues and made to wait in queues for registration. In addition to this they are mostly dehydrated and unclean. Lemon juice is also squirted into their eyes to irritate them."
(A bull being tamed in Avaniapuram jallikattu)
(Collapsed bull being forced to get up after jallikattu in Kalingapatti jallikattu)
In addition to the mounting allegations, PETA India has also questioned the bid to introduce a franchise format of jallikattu. TNM had reported this in January and on how many who support the sport are against the franchise. AWBI's decision to recall observers was further questioned.
(Bull jabbed with a stick inside vadi vasal in Ulgam Patti)
(Spectator gored by a bull in Palamedu jallikattu)
(Fleeing bull whacked by mob in Periya Suriyur jallikattu)
Concluding that no amount of regulation can be enforced to prevent the cruelty in the event and trauma the bull is subjected to, PETA India has demanded that the ban of jallikattu must continue to protect the animals as well as humans.