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December 10, 2015

Government Urged to Keep the Ban on Bullfighting

HSI/India's #GoaKeepTheBanOnBullfighting petition campaign garners mammoth national support within seven days

Humane Society International/India

  • Toni Scott/istockphoto

Animal welfare advocates are calling on the Goa Government to stop its plan to legalize bullfighting, or Dhirio.

Humane Society International/India, Animal Welfare Board of India and People for Animals, Goa initiated a petition urging the Government of Goa to not legalize bullfighting in the state soon after it released a public consultation notice on Nov 27, 2015. The online petition received an overwhelming response as more than 8,000 signatures were collected in a span of seven days.

During a press conference held in Panjim by animal welfare advocates, Shreya Paropkari, HSI/India's cruelty response manager, said: “We are discouraging the Government of Goa from allowing bullfighting, a very cruel form of entertainment that is banned in India. The idea of amending law to suit the whim of a few is ridiculous. The State of Tamil Nadu had previously attempted to use bulls for entertainment by passing the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act, which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 2014. We thank all the animal welfare organizations and compassionate individuals for standing against this movement. With their support, we will present more than 8,000 petitions to the Goa Legislature Assembly.”

In the past two weeks, HSI/India has been closely working with animal welfare organizations, volunteers and supporters to squash the move to legalize bullfighting in Goa and ensure that the Government does not encourage this cruel practice. Letters were mailed to BJP National Executive Committee and Congress Working Committee members to use their unique position of authority to oppose legalizing Dhirios. HSI/India also collaborated with its outreach partners across India and submitted more than 2,000 post cards with a plea to resist Goa Government’s stand in validating this cruel practice. Our petition also received support from Alliance Anticorrida, an French anti-bullfighting alliance.


  • Dhirio is the colloquial term for bullfights, a cruel form of entertainment which involves forcing two bulls to fight each other until only one remains standing or both animals are grievously wounded.
  • Bullfighting, and any other form of animal fighting, is prohibited by section 11(1)(m)(ii) & (n) the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
  • The Hon’ble High Court of Bombay (Panjim Branch) prohibited animal fighting in 1997 in the case: People for Animals vs State of Goa.
  • On May 7, 2014, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India passed an order prohibiting all animal races and fights. That same month, the High Court of Madras in the S. Kannan vs Commissioner of Police case declined permission for a cockfighting event in a temple festival and suggested the prohibition of cockfights in the state of Tamil Nadu. The High Court of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, in 2014, directed strict prevention of cockfights, this decision was provided status quo by the Supreme Court in the following month.
  • In Oct. 2015, People for Animals, Goa filed a contempt petition in the high court against Goa’s chief minister and all other top government officials for encouraging banned bull fights, following a bullfighting event organized on 20 September at Paliem-Harmal in Parsekar’s Mandrem constituency, on the occasion of Chovoth festival.

Media contact: Navamita Mukherjee, +91 9985472760, nmukherjee@hsi.org


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