Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday defended the Centre’s move to allow controversial bull taming sport Jallikattu despite opposition from animal rights bodies, saying it is being allowed with “proper safeguards” and many restrictions.
“What we have allowed is with proper safeguards and (while) ensuring that there is no cruelty (meted out) to animals. Cultural and historical practices of the communities are being allowed with many restrictions,” said Javadekar, who is currently on a three-day tour of Northeast states.
The Centre on Friday came out with a notification allowing the sport following extensive demand for its restoration by political parties in the states.
However, the Centre has also put some conditions, saying bullock cart race shall be organised on a proper track, which shall not exceed two kilometres.
In case of Jallikattu, the moment the bull leaves the enclosure, it shall be tamed within a radial distance of 15 metre and it should also be ensured that the bulls are put to proper testing by the authorities of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department to ensure that they are in good physical condition to participate in the event.
Performance enhancement drugs are not to administered to the bulls.
Jallikattu or bullock cart races shall have to be held with the prior approval of the District Authorities concerned and also should be duly monitored by the District Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and State Animal Welfare Board or the district authorities to ensure that no unnecessary pain or suffering is inflicted or caused during the course of such events.
Meanwhile, Peta India criticised the Centre’s move, saying that lifting protection against cruelty is a “black mark” on the nation, and vowed to take the fight of protecting the bulls to the Supreme Court.
The Animal Welfare Board of India had recently advised the environment ministry not to overturn the Supreme Court’s judgement which bans the sport in Tamil Nadu.