Kambala to come the jallikattu way? Karnataka now commits to amending PCA Act

State law minister TB Jayachandra says the amendment will be moved on February 6.
Kambala to come the jallikattu way? Karnataka now commits to amending PCA Act
Kambala to come the jallikattu way? Karnataka now commits to amending PCA Act
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As the Kambala beku protest gained ground, Karnataka’s Law Minister, TB Jayachandra, on Wednesday, announced that a bill will be moved in the Assembly session to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, to legalise kambala, a buffalo race and bullock-cart racing.

The Karnataka government decision comes close on the heels of Tamil Nadu’s law allow jallikattu, which was banned by the Supreme Court.

“The amendment will be moved on February 6 when the assembly session begins. This will be after the High Court hearing on January 30. Kambala has been a part of Karnataka’s tradition for 600 years and it is not as inhumane,” the Law Minister told mediapersons.

Jayachandra said that he held a meeting with departmental officials and the officials of the animal husbandry department regarding the amendment.

“There has not been a single death related to kambala for many decades. However, there will be certain guidelines under which it can be played to ensure that the animals are not subject to cruelty,” he added.

He also said that the sport will be conducted under the supervision of the district and taluk officials.

In response to these developments, PETA India’s CEO, Poorva Joshipura said in an email statement that if animal cruelty is allowed to continue, it may not be long before agitators start demanding the overturning of laws that protect vulnerable humans too.

“Now, not content with being permitted to deliberately terrify bulls during jallikattu, protestors are also calling for the legalization of bull and buffalo races during which animals are often hit with nail-studded sticks; cockfights where roosters often have knives tied to their feet; and bulbul bird fights for which the birds are trapped and fed intoxicants; and other horrors to be permitted,” the statement said.

Kambala organisations had also announced that the sport would be conducted on January 28 before the High Court’s verdict.

In November 2016, the Karnataka High Court had stayed the holding of kambala after a petition was filed by PETA. The stay was sought on the grounds that kambala violated the Supreme Court directions in the jallikattu.

Buffaloes are on the banned list of performing animals.  

“The High Court, in its interim order, had observed that ‘tradition cannot overtake the law’, and that ‘rights of animals are statutorily protected under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960’. The court had also observed that ‘all animals are not anatomically designed to be performing animals. The Court was of the view that there was no “justifiable exception” for conducting Kambala races, as water buffaloes are “not meant for racing”,” the statement said. 

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