March 3, 2016
Goa Reiterates Ban on Dhirio
Humane Society International/India celebrates important victory against animal fights
The state government of Goa has reiterated the ban on animal fights, including the controversial bull fighting event locally known as Dhirio. In Dhirio, two bulls are forced to fight until only one remains standing or both animals are grievously wounded. Humane Society International/India applauded the decision.
In August 2015, the Goa Legislature had formed a House Committee to examine provisions for the legalization of Dhirio. Since then, HSI/India campaigned vigorously alongside other animal welfare organizations, volunteers and supporters to thwart the move to legalize bullfighting in Goa and to ensure that this cruel practice is not tolerated by the Government. Goa’s decision was made just a few months after HSI/India’s high profile #KeepTheBanOnBullfightingInGoa campaign saw thousands of supporters and politicians write to the Goa Legislature urging it not to legalize Dhirio. Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and BJP veteran Shri L K Advani were amongst those giving HSI/India their support.
Shreya Paropkari, cruelty response manager for HSI/India, said, “We are grateful for the progressive decision taken by the government of Goa to stand firm on the ban on animal fights. It reflects the constitutional value of compassion. With this we hope that the House Committee is dissolved and the law enforcement agencies duly implement the law.”
HSI /India’s #KeepTheBanOnBullfightingInGoa campaign collected thousands of online petitions to Goa’s Secretary of Legislature, and more than 2,000 post card pleas from school children and college students, calling for a compassionate decision.
Anyone with information on illegal animal fights is asked to call HSI/India tip line +91 7674-922-044.
- 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 and Telangana, in 2014, directed strict prevention of cockfights. This decision provided the status quo by the Supreme Court the following month.
- In October 2015, People for Animals in 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 Sept. 20th at Paliem-Harmal in Parsekar’s Mandrem constituency for the Chovoth festival.