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January 12, 2016

Victory: Supreme Court Stays Centre Notification on Jallikattu

No Jallikattu or any other bull races or bull fights to be allowed

Humane Society International/India

  • Djoemanoj via Wikimedia Commons

Animal welfare advocates across India rejoice as the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India stayed the Central Government’s notification allowing Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. The court has issued a notice to all states mentioned in a notification dated Jan. 7th to file a response.

N G Jayasimha, member, Animal Welfare Board of India and managing director of Humane Society International/India, who also petitioned the Supreme Court against the MoEFCC’s notification allowing Jallikattu, said, “We are delighted with the Supreme Court order. This is a huge victory for animals. This order sends a message to supporters of this event that Jallikattu, and other events that abuse animals, belong in the history books. We hope that the government of Tamil Nadu will follow this order and not allow Jallikattu to take place.”

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On May 7th, 2014, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had passed an order prohibiting all animal races and fights, thereby directing the Animal Welfare Board of India and the government to prevent infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering to animals and ensure that no animals are incited to fight against a human being or another animal.

The MoEF&CC’s 7th January 2016 notification permitting events such as Jallikattu and bull races came despite a Supreme Court judgement that categorically held that the Government cannot allow Jallikattu, bull races or bullfights and cannot modify the notification dated 11 July 2011 (which banned forcing bulls to perform) without consulting the AWBI. In December 2015, the AWBI advised the Ministry not to go against the Supreme Court judgement. The court had also ruled that cruelty is inherent in these events, as bulls are not anatomically suited for such activities. Making them participate is subjecting them to unnecessary pain and suffering, so such events were outlawed. The court also stated that when culture and tradition are at variance with the law enacted by Parliament, the law would take precedence.

When Jallikattu was permitted in the past under regulations, hundreds of human participants were injured each year and many were killed. In just four years, from 2010 to 2014, approximately 1,100 injuries to humans were reported by the media as a result of cruel and dangerous Jallikattu-type events, and 17 people died, including a child. Since these figures were taken from media reports currently available online, the actual figure is likely higher. Many human injuries also go unreported.

Media Contact: Navamita Mukherjee, nmukherjee@hsi.org, 91-9985472760

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