Animal Welfare Board officials apprehend violation of rules and regulations
Preparations have begun for the conduct of ‘jallikattu,’ a mammoth exercise involving the departments of police, animal husbandry, health, public works, revenue, rural development and panchayat raj and fire and rescue services in the district next month.
However, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) representatives are wary of the bull taming sport being conducted without any violation of government prescribed rules. They claim to have video evidence of cruelty meted out to animals during the ‘jallikattu’ held in January this year.
S. Sivakumar, Madurai district secretary of People for Animals and an honorary Animal Welfare Officer of AWBI, said that last year many bull owners had used iron nails to make the animals enter the ‘vadivasal’ (a narrow passage through which the bulls enter the arena).
“The cruelty was meted out at all three major venues — Alanganallur, Palamedu and Avaniapuram — in the district.
At Avaniapuram, one bull ran to the main road and died after being hit by a government bus. In Palamedu, two bulls suffered fractures and a bull fell into an open well at Alanganallur,” he said.
Stating that the violations had been brought to the notice of the police department, he said that Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan has warned the violators of severe action such as registration of criminal cases and blacklisting of bull owners, tamers and the venues in the events to be held next month.
Approached for his reaction, P. Rajasekaran, president, Tamizhar Veera Vilaiyaattu Peravai, lamented that ‘jallikattu,’ a traditional sport conducted to exhibit the valour of Tamils, was losing its zest year after year due to increasing number of restrictions imposed on the conduct of the event.
“Insisting on registration of bulls on the previous night of the event, asking the tamers to be at the venues by 6.30 a.m. for registration, beginning the events by 8 a.m. and closing it by 2 p.m., ordering the tamers not to touch the bulls’ tails and many such conditions are killing the spirit of the event.
“Though we are ready to abide by the conditions imposed by the Supreme Court as well as those prescribed under the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act 2009, the problem arises when the local officials impose additional conditions and refuse to relax even the timings for the event,” he said.