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Acts of Cruelty: How Jallikattu violates the Law

Politicians across parties in Tamil Nadu have been pushing for lifting the ban on Jallikattu saying it is part of tradition. But the bull-taming sport was banned on grounds on animal cruelty. The sport flouts the law on animal cruelty in the following manner.

Ear cutting/Mutilation

– Justification: By cutting the ear, the animal would be able to hear sounds even from the back, important while the animals are in the Jallikattu arena

– Concern: Cutting external ear in no way helps to improve a bull’s hearing. Instead, the bull loses his natural ability to receive sounds signals

– Violation: Section 11(1)(a) of the prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; section 11(1)(l), which prohibits the mutilation of an animal’s body.

Fracture and dislocation of tail bones

– Observation: Bulls suffered from dislocated or even amputated tails caused by deliberate pulling and twisting.

– Concern: Dislocation and fracture of the tail vertebrae are extremely painful conditions.

– Violation: Section 11(1)(a) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

Biting the bull’s tail

– Observation: Bulls are poked, beaten and deliberately agitated before they are forced into the Jallikattu arena

– Concern: any direct pressure or injury to the tail bones causes extreme pain that sends bulls into a frenzy

– Violation: Section 11(1)(a) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

Poking bulls with knives and sticks

– Observation: many bulls were poked with sticks by owners, police officials and organizers inside arena

– Concern: Poking bulls with sticks or sharp knives causes immense pain and agitation

– Violation: Section 11(1)(a) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

Using irritants

– Observation: Irritant solutions rubbed into the eyes and noses of bulls in order to agitate them

– Concern: Eyes and noses are very sensitive, sensory organs, and the use of any irritating chemicals causes pain, distress and an intense sensation

– Violation: Section 11(1)(c), which prohibits the willful and unreasonable administration of any injurious drug or substance to any animal

Using nose ropes

– Observation: Nose ropes are frequently pulled, yanked or tightened in order to control bulls before they were released into arenas. some animals were even bleeding from the nose as a result of injuries caused by pulling the rope.

– Concern: Pulling or twisting the nose rope exerts pressure on the nerve-rich and extremely sensitive septum, causing bulls pain and making it easier for handlers to force them to move in a desired direction.

– Violation: Section 11(1)(a) of the prevention of cruelty to animals act, 1960

Source: Jallikattu investigation by Animal Welfare Board of India February 2013