Panaji: With the Environment Ministry
banning use of bulls as performing animals, several
traditional games, including bull-fights in Goa, will now
become a part of history.
In fact, bull-fights in the state have already been
banned by the Bombay High Court in 1996, even though they
are illegally being held at some places in the state.
The MoEF notification will also cease political
attempts in Goa to revive bull fights, which are enjoyed in
the coastal taluka of Salcette.
Animal rights organisation Federation of Indian
Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) has welcomed the move.
MoEF issued the notification on July 11, 2011, which
added bull in the list of animals including bear, monkey,
tiger, panther and lion that cannot be trained or used as a
performing animal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Act of 1960.
Bull-fights were popular in Goa`s coastal belt before
they were banned by the Bombay High Court in 1996. The court
had cited cruelty to animals as the reason for the ban.
However, bull fights continue to be held at some places
Goa Legislative Assembly had moved a Bill in 2009 to
legalise bull fights, which could not get assent of the
MP Fransisco Sardinha had also tried to move an
amendment in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act in 2009
to legalise bull fighting. But the attempt was opposed by many
including former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
The recent notification, however, is supported by
FIAPO, which is an umbrella organisation of animal welfare
groups in India.
"Bulls now cannot be made to perform in events like
Jallikattu and Rekla races in south India and the Dhirio of
Goa and in any form of cinematography," said Dr Chinny
Krishna, the chairman of FIAPO.
He said this is a landmark development for bulls and
we compliment the ministry for this initiative.
"Hundreds of bulls are tortured in barbaric events
like Jallikattu and Rekla races in south India and the Dhirio
of Goa. With this notification, bulls are to be considered
performing animals for the purpose of such events," he said.
FIAPO has said that bulls in various parts of the
country are routinely exploited and abused for races and other
forms of performance.
"They are made to take part in cruel cart races in
villages and towns across the country. Most of these races
typically inflict pain and suffering on the animals," Krishna
He said FIAPO and its member organisations have often
received complaints that during these races, the cart drivers
poke the animals in their sensitive parts with nails and
sticks, whip them mercilessly and even drug them with alcohol,
all in order to make them run faster than the other.
"Every year, in certain districts of Tamil Nadu, people
chase and taunt bulls for fun in a cruel "game" called
Jallikattu. During these events, large groups of men and boys
throw themselves on top of a bull in an effort to `tame` him
and grab a prize," he said.