Just a day after the Kambala season began in Dakshina Kannada, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alleged that buffalos were harassed in Moodbidri on Saturday. Organisers denied the charges and said that the animals were not harmed during the event.
In its statement, PETA said that the investigation by their team revealed that a majority of the 100 buffaloes were forced to participate in the event. They were beaten, prodded with sticks and their tails were pulled. The organisation claimed that buffaloes with bloody wounds were also forced to participate in the race. They alleged that frothing in the mouth and increased respiration rates show that the racing was unnatural for buffalloes, reported Deccan Herald.
The organisation documented videos and photographs of Kambala to place them before the Supreme Court. The court was hearing the petition questioning Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 passed by the State government.
Denying the allegation, Barkur Shantaram Shetty, President, Dakshina Kannada-Udupi-Kasargod Kambala Committee, said there was not a single incident of harassment during the Kambala in Moodbidri.
Photograph Courtesy: PETA
He said that buffaloes were not beaten at all and it was normal to see the respiration rate of buffaloes rise at the end of the race. He also added that it was normal to find ropes inserted through the nose of buffaloes. He said that their own documentation of the complete sequence of events in Kambala will be placed before the Supreme Court, reported The Hindu.
The ban on Kambala caused an uproar earlier this year with a large protest being held in Moodbidri where thousands turned up with their prized buffaloes to contest the ban against the popular rural sport. Since then, the ban has been lifted by a bill passed by the state government.