An animal rights body today said it will challenge in court a state law that allows traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’, a day after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to an ordinance on it. The president had yesterday approved the promulgation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 by the Karnataka governor. Bowing to public pressure, a bill to legalise ‘Kambala’ and bullock cart races in Karnataka was passed by the state Assembly in February, with all parties backing the move.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, was amended with regard to Karnataka by the bill which was tabled after the clamour for Kambala grew, spurred by the success of pro-jallikattu (taming of bull) stir in Tamil Nadu.The bill that was sent to the president for his assent was returned after some modifications were suggested. Following this, the state government modified the bill and sent it in an ordinance form as the assembly was not in session.
“…this cruelty stands in contravention of the intention of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and various articles of the Constitution of India. PETA India will challenge in court the Karnataka law that allows Kambala,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, India said in a statement. PETA said inspections carried out by the government body Animal Welfare Board (AWBI) prove beyond doubt that “without physically and mentally torturing bulls, they cannot be forced to run in races.”
It also noted that AWBI’s reports contained photographic evidence and a description of different forms of cruelty inflicted on ‘buffalo bulls.’ The bullock cart races are held in parts of north Karnataka and Shivamogga and Kambala in the coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.