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January 14, 2016

High Court Upholds Ban on Bulbul Fighting in Assam

  • Biju Boro/Assam

In yet another victory for animals, the High Court at Guwahati has stayed an earlier High Court order which had allowed bulbul fighting. In January 2015, the Government of Assam had issued an order prohibiting bulbul fights during the festival of Bihu which was contested by the Shri Hayariba Madhav Temple committee in December 2015.

N.G. Jayasimha, managing director of Humane Society International/India and member, Animal Welfare Board of India, said, “We are grateful to the High Court at Guwahati for upholding the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. We hope that Shri Hayariba Madhav Temple at Hajo will implement this order and celebrate a cruelty-free Bihu. This day will go down in the history of India as one of the most victorious days for animal welfare.”

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The earlier order of the single judge bench of the Guwahati High Court allowing bulbul fights came without impleading Animal Welfare Board of India as a party and thereby not giving sufficient opportunity of hearing to all stakeholders. The erroneous order was justly stayed. The order was announced moments after the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India stayed MoEFCC’s notification allowing Jallikattu.

Bulbuls or “songbirds” as they are known, protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, are reportedly captured from the wild by villagers who then train them by intoxicating their food with marijuana and starve the bird a night before the fight.

HSI/India is working to ensure that people who conduct this illegal and cruel practice of animal fighting, anywhere in India, are prosecuted. In the past year, HSI/India has been successful in stopping bulbul and buffalo fighting in Assam. To combat animal fighting in India, HSI/India has also launched its national animal fighting  tip-line number 07674922044 that can be used to anonymously report incidents of animal fighting organized in any part of the country.
Media Contact: Navamita Mukherjee, nmukherjee@hsi.org, 91-9985472760

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